Gregoire: What UMass needs to do to be successful in the Atlantic 10 tournament

Minutewomen earn No. 2 ranking in the tournament

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Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian (2022)

By Kayla Gregoire, Assistant Sports Editor

The Massachusetts field hockey team had a dominant regular season, but a 3-2 loss to Northeastern to end the regular season shows that it has a few things to clean up before the Atlantic 10 tournament.

The Minutewomen (13-5, 6-1 A-10) are the host sight of the tournament, which comes with a lot of eyes on them. On Gladchuk Field, UMass will have the upper hand with familiarity of the field and the fans constantly being on its side.

Despite the Minutewomen being the home sight, they will need to focus on certain aspects of their game to succeed in the tournament.

Offense needs to be dominant

To start out the season, UMass could not get a win in four quarters in three of its four first games. The Minutewomen were still finding ways to win, but with the level of intensity they will be playing at, constantly going into overtime will not be sustainable.

Many of UMass’ wins have been by multiple goals and it needs to keep that going into the tournament. In its last conference game against Lock Haven, the Minutewomen led by four goals in their win.

They also had a five-goal lead in their first conference win against Saint Louis. If they can keep comfortable leads in the tournament, then it will make wins easier and give them cushioning throughout the game.

Bella Ianni has been one of UMass’ best goal scorers throughout the last stretch of games. During the past eight games, the senior has six goals with an assist. Ianni did not have a great start to the season, with her first 10 games only being able to add an assist. She has had a great end to her regular season, she will need to keep that going by adding goals in the tournament.

Freshman have also been an important addition to offense. In UMass’ win over Columbia on Sept. 25, two out of the three goals in the game were scored by freshmen. The confidence in the freshman was evident during that game and was contagious for the rest of the team.

Throughout the season, Dempsey Campbell has added only nine points, but despite her small number of points, she has contributed to offense. The sophomore constantly adds quality shots on goal in games, with the most being four in the Minutewomen’s overtime loss to UAlbany. Campbell was one of the two goals in UMass’ last regular season game.

Goalkeeping

Myrte van Herwijen has been starting in net for the Minutewomen in the season. With over 1,000 minutes in between the pipes, she has gained experience even with being a freshman.

The goalkeeper did not play well against Northeastern, allowing by the two shots that she faced. Herwijen has been up and down throughout the season, there are games where she has allowed by all the shots she has faced.

On the other hand, she has games where she has stood tall in net and has recorded a shutout. Against Lock Haven, she faced 12 shots and did not allow a shot by her. Against VCU, the goalkeeper was challenged twice, with one of the shots going by her. The other shot she faced she saved off of her back, showing she is able to be challenged and save the ball.

The Minutewomen need Herwijen to be at her best to make it through the tournament.

Penalty Corners

UMass needs to consistently be challenging teams on the penalty corner. Head coach Barb Weinberg has stressed after games how important the production in the corners is. They have constantly worked on penalty corners in practice so when they are put to the challenge, they can succeed.

The Minutewomen will take on No. 3 Lock Haven on Thursday, Nov. 3 with game time set for 3 p.m.

Kayla Gregoire can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Kaygregoire.