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

UMass falls to Fordham on senior day

Minutewomen held scoreless in a 1-0 game
Sophie-Zoe Schreyer/ Daily Collegian (2022)

Senior day did not prove to be a fruitful effort for the Massachusetts women’s soccer team as it dropped its final regular season game 1-0 to Fordham on Sunday afternoon.

The Minutewomen (5-8-5, 4-4-2 Atlantic 10) had some good early chances in the game, one from sophomore forward Ashley Lamond and the other from freshman forward Nia Hislop. Lamond’s chance came in from a crosser from the left wing, which was shot just wide to the left of the net. Hislop’s chance was created from her speed running down the right wing in possession of the ball and was also a near goal.

“I think [Hislop] was really dangerous in the first half especially,” head coach Jason Dowiak said. “She created some good chances for us. She’s a tremendous athlete but she understands the game and she’s really coachable.”

Another bright spot for the Minutewomen was sophomore defender Juliana Ryan. She was quick on the ball each time she was near it and had crisp passes to her teammates. Ryan did not turn the ball over a single time, serving as an example for the rest of her teammates.

It was a low-chance first half, with both teams putting up a combined nine shots. Dowiak noted the UMass goalkeepers, Bella Mendoza and Megan Olszewski, played an important role in limiting Fordham’s (5-11-1, 4-5-1 A-10) chances. Most notably, Mendoza had a huge save eight minutes into the first half.

“They helped us relieve pressure by being able to play back through them,” Dowiak said. “That’s a goal that we could never put on the goalkeeper because it’s through but they both played really well.”

Most of the Minutewomen’s offense came from the sides of the field, just as they have operated all season, specifically from the left side of the field. One of UMass’ biggest narratives from the game was the lack of final ball off potential scoring chances. There were a lot of crossers into the box that could not accurately find a UMass forward.

The second half was a different story, with the Ram’s press becoming more effective at generating pressure on the Minutewomen’s defense. Fordham spent a significant amount of time on its offensive side of the field in the second half; although the Minutewomen did a good job keeping the shots down.

The lone goal of the game came at the 87-minute mark by the way of a right corner kick from graduate student Caroline Monahan. The goal was scored off a header by Fordham’s senior midfielder Maura Murphy.

UMass forward and leading goal scorer Lauren Bonavita missed Sunday’s game with a lingering foot injury.

Shortly before the goal was scored, senior midfielder Lauren Smida was down and injured on the field for several minutes before walking off under her own power.

“[Smida] had to come off with their legs cramping,” Dowiak said. “And to give up a goal in that kind of low moment was tough, but I am so proud of our seniors. They have been great leaders this year and great trendsetters for us as a program.”

Next up for the Minutewomen is the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament against Dayton on Friday at 7 p.m.

Eli Weisberger can be reached at [email protected].

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