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

Recap: UMass holds on for 2-1 victory against Richmond

Mia Smith and Bella Ianni both score a goal in the conference matchup
Kayla Wong / Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts field hockey team escaped Richmond with a 2-1 win on Friday.

The first quarter served as an indication that the Spiders (6-10, 2-4 Atlantic 10) came to play. There were no penalty corners for either side, and Richmond was determined to disrupt No. 20 UMass (12-4, 5-1 A-10) by throwing off its pace of play.

It wasn’t until the second quarter when things began clicking for the Minutewomen, as they got the ball rolling with their offense following a blank first quarter. They garnered two penalty corner attempts, and while they failed to convert, the offense maintained their composure and kept pressing the attack. Their grit was rewarded as Mia Smith would find the back of the net seven minutes through the second quarter.

On the scoring play, Bella Ianni received the ball inside and took a shot on net that was deflected off the body of goalkeeper Kristen Rake. Mali Herberhold and a Richmond defender hit the deck as they battled for the loose ball, which popped loose from underneath the backside of the keeper and in perfect position was Smith, who put home the goal.

With just over a minute to go in the first half, Richmond got a penalty corner opportunity after a previous mistake by UMass on its own penalty corner. Jess Beech denied the opportunity as she dashed past all the defenders to block the shot, and thwart the play before it began, keeping the Minutewomen up 1-0 at the end of the first half of play.

The momentum carried over into the second half, as UMass took a 2-0 lead after Steph Gottwals drove past multiple defenders on the far-right side of the field and passed to a wide open Ianni who sunk the shot in the left corner of the net.

UMass’ kryptonite this season has been mistakes. Several times throughout the season the Minutewomen have shot themselves in the foot, and the opposing team has taken advantage before they can stop the bleeding.

UMass made a handful of mistakes in the contest, and one eventually came back to bite it. With just over eight minutes left in the game, Richmond’s Lindsey Frank barreled her way into Minutewomen territory with little to no resistance from the defense and finished the play with a score. UMass goalkeeper Myrte van Herwijnen extended just a little too far out of the net and Frank took advantage by getting the shot off before the defense adjusted.

With 10 seconds left in the game, Richmond had a free hit opportunity to tie the game at the buzzer. Cori Nichols received a pass down low and had a great look at a score, but Van Herwijnen was waiting front and center, and blocked the shot as time expired and the Minutewomen escaped with a victory.

Kristen Rake, the goalkeeper for Richmond, started her third game of the season against UMass. She started off the game strong and made a miraculous diving play to prevent the Minutewomen from getting on the board in the first quarter. Rake’s coming off a win against Bucknell University, where she recorded four saves in the game. The performance helped her win A-10 player of the week.

UMass will play its final home game of the season on Friday when it takes on Lock Haven at 3 p.m.

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

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