UMass secures first win in home opener against UMass Lowell 3-0

A strong team effort defined the Minutewomen’s win

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Parker Peters

Parker Peters/ Daily Collegian

By Sophie Weller, Collegian Staff

After a short delay, the Massachusetts’s women’s soccer team took the field ready to play against UMass Lowell, despite the scorching heat. The first half saw possession by both sides, but the River Hawks (1-1-1) registered three shots on goal, all of which were saved by Bella Mendoza.

Sophomore Lauren Robles took a one touch shot off a ball that was deflected and found the back of the net in the 45th minute of the game. The Minutewomen (1-2-0) went into the half with the lead.

“It was a great moment for Lauren Robles,” head coach Jason Dowiak said. “She found a great pocket and then stayed with a difficult moment to regain it and finish it off.”

The second half saw a change in the pace of play for UMass and in the 47th minute tit was rewarded with its second goal of the game from Karina Groff.  Two minutes later, Chandler Pedolzky got her second goal of the season and giving the Minutewomen a three-goal lead.

“I think it’s the speed of play that really changed us in the second half,” Dowiak said. “If we can keep that mentality of moving the ball quicker and finding the great movement from our forwards especially.”

When reflecting on the goals, Dowiak praised the teamwork of the forwards. Before scoring a goal, Pedolzky recorded an assist after feeding a ball across to Groff. Olivia Gouldsbury and Bella Recinos got the other assists during the game.

“I love that they shared the ball,” Dowiak said. “Again, in that final moment a couple extra passes for real nice and easy goals.”

 Mendoza left the game in the 75th minute after saving five shots on net. UMass Lowell’s biggest offensive opportunities came in the last 15 minutes of the game, but sophomore goalkeeper Megan Olszewski came up with four saves, preventing the River Hawks from scoring.

UMass has played two games this season prior to Thursday, losing to both Penn State and Boston College. Struggles showed in its inability to get the ball in the top third and take shots.

“We walked away from both of those games feeling like we performed well at times and were capable of playing, so I think it just all came together today,” Dowiak said. “A lot of players came in, not in starting roles, but really put in a fantastic stamp on their desire to compete and prove that they can help us win.”

Groff, who scored the second goal of the game, commended the team effort. Multiple players took the field, getting their first minutes of the season, and allowed for the team to show strength all areas.

“It was really exciting to see, because we played so well, a lot of other players had opportunities to get on the field and get some minutes,” Groff said. “We were all just having fun out there.”

UMass will travel this weekend to take on Boston University at 4 p.m. on. Sunday.

Sophie Weller can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @SophieeWellerr