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

Field hockey notebook: No. 22 UMass beats Providence, falls to No. 6 Iowa over the weekend

Herberhold and Smith each notch an assist and score against the Friars
Dylan Nguyen/Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts field hockey team kicked off its weekend slate with a 2-0 victory over Providence College on Saturday before falling to No. 6 Iowa on Sunday.

Mali Herberhold dealt the first blow against the Friars when she netted home a close shot with the assist coming from Mia Smith.

“[Herberhold] is a huge drive on our strike line,” head coach Barb Weinberg said. “She played great and she was really able to open up the scoring for us.”

The duo connected for another UMass goal later on in the second quarter, this time with Herberhold facilitating and Smith scoring. The assist and score were the first of the season for Smith, while Herberhold improved her totals to two goals and two assists.

“It’s a huge confidence booster,” Weinberg said of Smith’s goal. “[Smith] is playing a new position for us. Coming out of high school, [Smith] was a midfielder. For her to be able to put some goals in and start to generate some points, it’s going to give her huge confidence.”

The Minutewomen’s defense was lights out, and Providence failed to get off a single shot attempt as a result.

As it turns out, UMass’ slow and strategic advantage against the Friars was its downfall when facing the Razorbacks. The offense failed to generate any momentum as the Minutemen lost 2-0 and were not able to get a shot on goal.

Iowa, on the other hand, took 14 shots, with eight shots on goal. Anthe Nijziel and Alex Wesneski found the back of the net for the Razorbacks, but opportunities arose for everybody in the offense.

Myrte Van Herwijnen played all 60 minutes in net for UMass and made six saves.

“We knew Iowa is a very strong opponent historically and what we’ve seen on video this year,” Weinberg said. “They play very, very solid defense so we knew our opportunities could be limited. Credit to Iowa and they played a really strong defensive game and we didn’t have the opportunities we expected to have today.”

With the loss, the Minutewomen sit at 4-2 on the year. Both losses came at the hands of nationally ranked opponents: Iowa and No. 1 Northwestern.

“We know how strong of a team we have this year and the potential that we have,” Weinberg said. “What we’re seeing is we don’t have as much time to move the ball against stronger opponents, so we need to get a little bit more secure in our possession and comfortable on the ball when we’re playing a top ten opponent.”

UMass field hockey returns to action on Friday when it hosts Saint Louis for a conference showdown.

“Every conference game is tough because everyone’s fighting for the same thing,” Weinberg said. “We feel comfortable on our home turf. But we’ve got to stay tight on our attack and defense because it’s going to be a tough one.”

Michael Araujo can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @araujo_michael_.

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