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

Albany scores game winning goal in double overtime to upset UMass 2-1

Jess Beech scores the lone goal, Myrte Van Herwijnen records eight saves
Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian (2022)

The Massachusetts field hockey team suffered a 2-1 heartbreaking defeat in double overtime on Sunday to Albany.

The Great Danes (11-4, 4-2 America East) put UMass (11-4, 4-1 Atlantic 10) on its heels early  in the contest. Luisa Knapp scored the first goal of the game less than six minutes into the game, with Julie Rodijk assisting on the play. From that point on, the Minutewomen were stuck playing catch up.

Albany’s physical style of play earned it a quick score, but UMass was quick to match its intensity. The Minutewomen played more aggressively afterwards as they attempted to weather the storm both mentally and physically. Jess Beech eventually tied the score with a goal in the second quarter.

“Earlier in the season, we had several games where we had gone down by the first goal and were able to come back and I think that our team has gotten much better this season at coming back after that first goal is scored,” head coach Barb Weinberg said. “That resiliency has definitely improved and we’ve had that experience earlier in the season.”

On the scoring play, Emilie Keij assisted by popping the ball up to Beech. With the ball nearly at eye level, Beech swung her stick like a baseball bat and sent a shot right into the back of the net.

“I think what makes Beech successful all over the field is her desire and her spark,” Weinberg said. “Game after game, she’s a player where when we come out a little bit flat, she’s the one firing [the players] up in the huddle and then she goes on the field and actually executes with a spark. She said before the game she wanted to score a goal that’s not on a penalty stroke and she did that [Sunday].”

The spark fueled the Minutewomen’s comeback, but it trickled out in the second half. Missed opportunities were the team’s downfall as the momentum fell out of their favor and the game went into extra minutes.

Prior to the game, UMass was undefeated in three overtimes and one shootout on the season. The Great Danes’ aggressiveness and ferocity allowed them to flip the script and upset the UMass fans at home.

“We weren’t engaging too much,” Weinberg said. “In overtime, you have a lot of time and space and we were disengaging too much with their defenders and they defended very well. So we need to play the ball around and release, really. We need to move the ball.”

The game winning dagger was scored by Albany’s Blanca Orsola, who was assisted by Charlotte Triggs. Orsola dribbled her way through Minutewomen defenders and with one foul swoop, took the air right out of the Gladchuk Field Hockey Complex.

While the outcome was not in her favor, UMass goalkeeper Myrte Van Herwijnen was a bright spot, registering eight saves.

“I think [Van Herwijnen] had her best game of the season,” Weinberg said. “She absolutely held on for us especially in the fourth quarter and made key saves that kept us in the game.”

With three games remaining in the regular season, UMass sits tied at the number two spot with Lock Haven, and behind Saint Joseph’s  in the conference leaderboards.

“Consistency,” Weinberg said about how the team can improve after the loss. “We had a great performance on Friday against VCU and we need to sustain that type of performance.”

UMass will hit the road for an away matchup against conference opponent Richmond on Friday at 1 p.m..

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

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