UMass secures the 6-1 victory over Saint Louis in the Flagship 50 game

Mali Herberhold, Jess Beech knock in two goals each


Dylan Nguyen / Daily Collegian

By Michael Araujo , Collegian Staff

The Massachusetts field hockey team celebrated 50 years of Title IX with an assertive 6-1 win over Saint Louis on Friday.

In honor of the Flagship 50 game, No. 20 UMass (5-2, 1-0 Atlantic 10) honored former field hockey alumni on the field while the players, coaches and the fans showered them with applause.

Pam Moryl, who was recently inducted into the Massachusetts Athletics George “Trigger” Burke Hall of Fame Class of 2022, was in attendance for the game. A dual-sport athlete playing lacrosse and field hockey, Moryl was a member of the 1983 NCAA All-Tournament Team and went to four NCAA tournaments in her four years with the field hockey team.

“There’s a lot to celebrate this weekend with Pam Moryl and the 1982 women’s lacrosse team being inducted,” head coach Barb Weinberg said. “There’s a lot of crossover between field hockey and lacrosse from that era. For them to be able to be here and celebrate women in sport and the history of women in sport I think is amazing.”

With UMass royalty in attendance, the Minutewomen came out the gates red hot and went on the attack.

Senior Jess Beech kickstarted what would turn into a 4-0 run after sinking a free hit past the Billikens’ goalkeeper and into the left corner. This would be Beech’s first of two goals scored in the game, as she would later net another free hit before the end of the first half.

“[Beech] played amazing,” Weinberg said. “She practices penalty strokes every day at training so anytime that comes up she’s ready to go. For her to put it into two different areas of the goal is huge for us. It gave us some extra security with the score line.”

Claire Danahy followed up Beech’s early score with a long-range shot that zipped past several defenders and the keeper on its way into the net. Nearly a minute and a half later, Aisling Murray laid out and extended her stick to secure UMass’ third goal of the first quarter.

“We wanted to keep our foot on the gas and make sure we kept pushing,” Weinberg said. “We’ve been working all week on our attacking movement and generating more in our attacking third and I thought our finishing was fantastic today.”

Saint Louis scored early in the third quarter off a penalty shot that ricocheted off the keeper’s pad and into the net. From there on out, the second half was all Mali Herberhold.

After registering two assists in the first half, Herberhold became the beneficiary of the Minutewomen’s unselfish passing and scored two goals to comfortably put the game out of reach.

“We’ve been working with [Herberhold] on passing the ball a little bit more and what we found today is that when she gives the ball, she actually gets it back in better space. She was able to have some good shots on goal. It was beautiful.”

The Minutewomen played suffocating defense in the first half. They were active in cutting off passing lanes and never allowed the Billikens to be comfortable with the ball. Their offense fed off this energy and UMass held a comfortable 4-0 lead by the halfway point.

Even with the commanding victory against a conference opponent, the players still agree that there is room for improvement.

“I think if you asked [the players] they’d say they were not happy with their third and fourth quarters,” Weinberg said. “They gave Saint Louis a couple of opportunities and our game plan was to completely deny them.”

The Minutewomen are back at home on Monday to take on Boston University at 4 p.m.

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