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

Yosuke Hanya’s stellar play has been critical to UMass’ success this year

Hanya is third on the team in minutes played
Caroline O’Connor

A large part of the Massachusetts men’s soccer team’s success this season can be credited towards the play of forward Yosuke Hanya.

The graduate student, now in his fifth year with the squad, has been an instrumental player in the progression of UMass’ (7-3-1, 1-2-0 Atlantic 10) success throughout the years. Now, as the team looks to qualify into the A-10 Tournament along with a birth into the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year, his performances in the closing games will be critical for the Minutemen.

UMass are winners of three out of its last four games, having its three-game winning streak snapped on the road at Dayton. The Minutemen lost the game thanks to a pair of late goals by the Flyers, but they showed adversity after battling back from one goal down in the opening half to put themselves ahead 2-1 in the final 30 minutes of action. Three straight goals by Dayton sealed the win for them and proved to UMass that there is still a long road until tournament time.

“That was a tough game,” Hanya said. “Especially because it was our first true away game. Obviously, that gave us confidence in terms of us being able to score goals against whatever team. Now we have a lot of away games coming up, so we are pretty excited.”

The Minutemen finish out the season with six more games, three at home and three on the road. Hanya will be an important part in each one of those games. His versatility and endurance on the pitch is unmatched.

Hanya has played in all eleven games this season for UMass and he’s also logged 970 minutes on the pitch. He’s played 70 or more minutes in every game this season along with more than 100 minutes three times. His durability for the Minutemen is why they have been so successful. But this recent span over the last couple weeks in which UMass has only played one game each week, has been beneficial for the whole team.

“It’s pretty helpful [having the rest] in terms of recovering,” Hanya said. “We are fully recovered. Now we are heading to the weekend and really prepared.”

Hanya can dictate and influence the flow of a game through his play on the pitch. He is a forward on the stat sheet, but he can drop deep into a midfield role to help organize and keep the team structured. One of the signature traits to his game is his ability to dribble up the pitch on the attack through numerous defenders. He makes dribbling from UMass’ own third into the opposing teams third look effortless.

“I know what I am capable of,” Hanya said. “Attacking wise I can dribble, and I can pass the ball to our forwards. That is my strength and ability. The next six games I want to express my ability through my skills and I want to win.”

So far on the year, Hanya has recorded four assists with no goals but his impact on each game goes beyond the stat sheet. His link up play between the midfield and forwards is vital to the offense for the Minutemen, along with his ability to open up the flanks on both sides, bringing in the wingers.

UMass has four straight conference games coming up, with the next one taking place at home on Saturday against George Washington. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Frederick Hanna III can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @FrederickIII

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