Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass extends unbeaten streak to double digits with shutout win over George Washington

Minutewomen earned their fourth shutout victory of the season
Chris Tucci / UMass Athletics

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team was able to extend its unbeaten streak to 10 after taking down George Washington, 2-0 on Thursday afternoon.

The Minutewomen (7-2-3, 3-0-1 Atlantic 10) got on the board extremely early as freshman Ashley Lamond found the back of the net on a pass from senior Mia Carazza just three minutes into the match. Lamond struck the ball from just inside the 18-yard box and put it past Colonials’ (1-9-2, 1-3-0 A-10) goalkeeper Tamaki Machi.

“[Lamond’s] finish was one of the most composed, and this is going to sound weird, but articulate finishes I’ve seen from a player in a long time,” UMass head coach Jason Dowiak said. “She’s been getting more and more comfortable, it’s nice to see when freshmen settle in and show that confidence and that ability early on and she earned that starting job pretty early on and has got a pretty strong lock on it.”

UMass defended its half well for the remainder of the match. A tough save from sophomore goalkeeper Megan Olszewski at the end of the first half denied George Washington’s best offensive opportunity all day.

Despite Olszewski playing well in the first half, the Minutewomen switched keepers in the second half substituting in sophomore Bella Mendoza. Mendoza saw the most amount of playing time in her 45 minutes of action since UMass’ third game of the season against UMass Lowell on Aug. 26. Mendoza followed in Olszewski’s footsteps of keeping the Colonials off the board in the second half to earn the Minutewomen their fourth shutout victory.

“We’re blessed to have two excellent goalkeepers,” Dowiak said. “We feel they both offer a lot, and both have earned the opportunity to play.”

A big reason for the decision behind switching goalkeepers was how the game had been unfolding. UMass had been in control for a majority of the first half which made the coaching staff comfortable enough to make the switch at halftime.

“We felt like we played a bit in control throughout the day and again if Bella started, we would have put Meg[an] in at half today because they’re both so sound,” Dowiak said.

In the 79th minute, sophomore Lauren Robles shot a ball towards the right side of the goal that found the inside of the net to add some insurance on the Minutewomen’s lead. After hitting the crossbar on a previous shot, then having another saved by Machi, Robles was ecstatic to finally be able to celebrate a goal after two quality looks were unsuccessful. The Minutewomen had a 16-11 shot advantage on the afternoon.

With today’s victory, UMass extended its unbeaten streak to 10 games which ties the longest streak since 1996.

“It’s coming together at the right time,” Dowiak said. “As a coaching staff, we’re very excited with what’s possible with this group.”

The Minutewomen will head back to Amherst to take on Virginia Commonwealth  at 1 p.m. on Oct. 3.

“[This is] one of the most enjoyable seasons that I’ve had with a team.” Dowiak said.

Carson Depp can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @CarsonDepp.

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