Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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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 scores two goals in two minutes to beat George Washington 2-1

Lauren Bonavita scores her 10th goal of the season
Collegian File Photo (2021)

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team went down by a goal early against George Washington but battled back to score two goals in two minutes to go ahead and win by a score of 2-1.

Lauren Bonavita was a huge offensive catalyst Sunday for the Minutewomen (5-6-5, 4-2-2 Atlantic 10), registering three shots, an assist on the first goal of the game coming from Chandler Pedolzky, and scored her 10th goal of the season. After being denied on the initial try, Bonavita put it behind the Colonials (6-4-6, 1-4-3 A-10) goalie Ainsley Lumpe off a serve from Nia Hislop.

This goal earned Bonavita a spot on the list of all-time career goal scorers for UMass, tying her for 10th in the program.

“That’s something that’s been certainly weighing on her mind, especially while she was in a little dry spell,” head coach Jason Dowiak said. “She just reads the game and anticipates things so well. She got herself into the box and took complete advantage of her moment and now that pressure is off her back.”

The Minutewomen started this game flat on offense. Bonavita was able to get a shot on target in the second minute, but after that, their opportunities were few and far between in the first half. The urgency in their game was not there when compared to recent weeks. UMass used many substitutions during the first half, and players such as Ashley Lamond and Grace Pinkus brought the energy it needed to compete coming off the bench.

“We came out and had a low-energy warmup, and it was a little worrisome,” Dowiak said. “For our standards, we expect a lot more with the way we started this game. It’s one of those days when I’m very proud to be a coach. Every player that stepped on the field performed when they got that next chance and elevated the game for us.”

Rachel Sorkenn struck first for George Washington in the 20th minute of the first half off a miscue from the Minutewomen. Fiona Kane, playing as a center-back, fell after stumbling on the turf, allowing Sorkenn to finish with a clean shot past Bella Mendoza.

“That goal was a very unlucky moment for us,” Dowiak said. “They put a lot of pressure on us in the first half, with three dangerous corners and our defense being flat, but felt we could definitely fix that up and play good soccer in the second half.”

Even though it let up the first goal , UMass played strong defensively for the remainder of the game. The Colonials did not register a shot on goal for the entire game except for the shot that found the net. Mendoza and Megan Olszewski each played a half, but neither was tested much.

This win for the Minutewomen was vital as the season nears its end. UMass is now tied for fourth in the A-10 conference standings with Davidson, both recording 14 points, and at best can finish as the third seed. It’s most likely that UMass will finish as either the fourth or fifth seed, but its last two games will be critical, as it will determine if it will be able to host at least one game in the A-10 tournament or must go on the road.

“This game was a huge test of our resiliency and our character,” Dowiak said. “We were as urgent as we needed to be, and now we’re in a spot to potentially host a playoff game, which is a benchmark for us, so I’m proud of the girls for battling and sticking with it and finishing to our standards.”

The Minutewomen will continue their road trip, playing new conference member Loyola Chicago at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Scottie Marro can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @scottiemarro.

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