UMass looking to continue offensive success against Fordham

Three games remain in regular season play

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Caitlin Mott/ Daily Collegian

By Sophie Weller, Collegian Staff

With three games remaining in the regular season for the Massachusetts women’s soccer team, every game is crucial in earning a playoff spot. The Minutewomen (8-4-3, 4-2-1 Atlantic 10) will face off against Fordham on Sunday.

Coming off an impressive win against Richmond, UMass still sees room for improvement and growth.

“A fast start for sure,” head coach Jason Dowiak said of what he’s looking for on Sunday. “They need to win, and we need to do our very best to take control of the game. It’s always hard to play up there, so we just want a fast start and hopefully some goals early on would be nice.”

The Spiders (6-7-1, 4-3-0 A-10) started Thursday’s game strong with a goal in the 3rd minute, but Chandler Pedolzky and Ashley Lamond were able to get the score even with a goal one minute later. Pedolzky beat her defender and got to the corner where she was able to cross the ball to the center of the box, finding Lamond, who headed the ball down and past the hands of Richmond’s goalkeeper.

“They are both freshmen,” Dowiak said. “It was great to see Ashley score two [Thursday]. She has that in her, but Karina [Groff] could have had a goal or two, Emily [McCormack] could have had a goal or two, [Chandler Pedolzky] could have probably had a couple goals on top of her assists.”

Getting that level of production out of new additions to the lineup alongside their veteran core makes the Minutewomen far more dangerous to play against.

UMass currently sits in fourth place in the A-10 standings, behind VCU, Dayton, and Saint Louis. The Rams are in first and remain undefeated in conference play. The game against the Billikens saw UMass struggling after a goal in the 13th minute left them scrambling.

“I think it’s just about confidence,” Dowiak said. “They know what they are doing, they know how to play, they know how to create chances as individuals and as a group and I think we just saw things start to come together again.”

Fordham (3-10-2, 1-5-1 A-10) is in 12th place and currently riding a three-game losing streak. The Rams objective will be to contain the offensive pressure from UMass and get shots off.

“I think we just want to see consistency in what we’re good at,” Dowiak said. “We want to just go in knowing feel like we know what we look like, we know who we are, and we know what we’re capable of doing and if we can get some extra players some rest and some other players some minutes and grow out that depth even more, that would be great too.”

Dowiak praised his Minutewomen group in practice Friday morning after returning the field less than a day after their game against Richmond. The players were dialed in and battled against one another preparing for the crucial last games of the season.

UMass will travel to New York and take on Fordham at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.

Sophie Weller can be reached at [email protected] and followed on twitter @SophieeWellerr.