UMass women’s soccer defeats Fordham 2-1 on Sunday

The Minutewomen find their form in their second straight win

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Caitlin Mott / Daily Collegian

By Batanai Dhliwayo, Collegian Correspondent

After a scoreless first half, the Massachusetts women’s soccer team was able to capitalize on scoring opportunities in the second frame of its away game, defeating Fordham 2-1. In the 53rd minute UMass (9-4-3, 5-2-1 Atlantic 10) forward Karina Goff scored the first goal of the game coming off an assist by Chandler Pedolzky.

“We reminded our attacking group where we were dangerous in the first half and that we just needed to find that better quality in finding better shots and that’s exactly what they did in the second half,” head coach Jason Dowiak said after the game.

The Minutewomen were able to capitalize on opportunities later in the second half, scoring their second goal in the 78th minute. Chandler Pedolzky once again assisted the goal, this time for midfielder Olivia Gouldsbury whose strike to the bottom left corner found the back of the net.

Gouldsbury’s goal against The Rams (3-11-2, 1-6-1 A-10) was her first for the Minutewomen this season. However, her coaches and teammates have recognized the level of an attacking threat that the midfielder can be, even when she doesn’t appear on the scoresheet.

“[Gouldsbury] is very technical and very clinical in her ability to finish and that just was a perfect display of what she is capable of,” Dowiak said.

UMass did not let its slow start linger into the rest of the game the way it did against Saint Louis two games prior. It kept working the ball around trying to find openings to score and its patience paid off on Sunday.

“I think as we settled more and more into the game, we really started to have a lot of possession,” Dowiak said. “That possession really led to us creating some really good attacking moments and it was just the consistency of the way we played throughout the day, I think is why we came away with the victory.”

Although UMass conceded an goal to Fordham in the second half, its defensive prowess was on display for most of the contest. The Minutewomen’s defenders did well to keep composure against Fordham’s attacks and push the ball forward to help create opportunities for their attackers.

“I thought our back three Fiona [Kane], Ava [Jouvenel], and [Juliana Ryan] were so incredibly consistent throughout the day in how good their first touches were, how well they connected the passes to link us going forward, and how they covered as well for each other and for moments where it was dangerous,” Dowiak said.

With just two games left in the season against St. Bonaventure and La Salle, the Minutewomen look to maintain the form they have been playing with in recent matches. Their next two opponents have two very different playstyles, but that isn’t stopping Dowiak and UMass from sticking to its own game plan to gain victories in both games and make a push to qualify for the A-10 tournament.

“I think the last two games we got back to playing and owning possession and valuing the ball more, moving the ball with a little bit of a better tempo,” Dowiak said. “I think that’s what really helped us today especially, we moved the ball very quickly, so that’s our goal for Thursday and Sunday this week, is to just focus on us.”

The Minutewomen face St. Bonaventure on Thursday for their final home regular-season match. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.

Batanai Dhliwayo can be reached at [email protected].