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 falls short to Saint Joseph’s in Atlantic 10 Championship

The Minutewomen’s season comes to a close
Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian (2022)

After a defensive battle for the Massachusetts field hockey team, it fell short in the Atlantic 10 Championship on Saturday against Saint Joseph’s, 3-0.

Heading into the second half, the Minutewomen (14-6, 6-1 A-10) had not added a shot on goal. The Hawks (15-4, 7-0 A-10) pressured enough to get seven shots, with three on goal. With one going in during the first half, UMass knew it needed to add pressure on offense, but failed to register a shot on goal in the second half.

A penalty corner put Saint Joseph’s up by two in the second half when Lily Santi placed herself on the right side of the net. In the same quarter, the Hawks had a shot at another goal after a player backhanded the ball with Myrte Van Herwijnen out of position. The shot was off target and hit the post.

When Saint Josephs was put on the penalty corner with 10 minutes left in the fourth, Freke Van Tilburg shot the ball past Van Herwijnen to cement a Saint Joseph’s 3-0 win. The Minutewomen attempted to come back on a few breakaways, but they could not capitalize.

UMass was on defense throughout the game after the Hawks came out dominant. In the first half, players were keeping shots off of their goalkeeper, but the second half they faltered. The Minutewomen were left shuffling around, trying to keep up with Saint Joseph’s. With skill, Hawks players easily could make their way around the Minutewomen.

“In the first quarter our defense had a fantastic game,” head coach Barb Weinberg said. “Organization and individual defense are as strong as it’s been all season so for them to come out of that in the first two quarters in the score line that we had, it was phenomenal.”

Gabrielle Benkenstein was the first to break into the Hawks’ zone after dodging around defenders. The ball was quickly taken away from her, putting Saint Joseph’s back in UMass’ defensive zone.

Unlike the back-and-forth game against Lock Haven, the field tipped towards Saint Joseph’s on Saturday. Whenever the Minutewomen attempted to get past the Hawks, the Hawks would cover up the play.

“We had trouble connecting really any passes together today,” Weinberg said. “I think Saint Joe’s stepped up defensively really strong. Every single pass that we made under a ton of pressure, and we weren’t really able to get into a flow in the game.”

UMass players were left tired after chasing Saint Josephs. In the first quarter, Claire Danahy was looking for a sub after being on the field for most of the quarter. Due to her being tired, she was left having to constantly stretch out and battle for the ball.

With Saint joseph’s dominance, they were the first to get on the board on a penalty corner in the second quarter. When a Hawks player passed to Sol Borensztein threw off goalkeeper Van Herwijnen, who moved to the left side of net. As the goalkeeper moved to the left side, the ball slowly rolled to the right for a 1-0 Hawks lead.

The game was Van Herwijnen’s biggest test and despite allowing three goals, she stood tall in net, constantly making saves. In the second half on a penalty corner, a Saint Joseph’s player shot the ball hard, but the goalkeeper quickly saved the ball with a dive.

The loss marks the end of UMass’ season, but it will see many seniors return in the 2023 season. The loss also marks the first time the Minutewomen have been back in the A-10 Championship since 2017.

“Our senior class has led the charge,” Weinberg said on being in the A-10 Championship. “They enjoy playing hockey with one another. They enjoy each other off the field and that’s a huge part of it. Our conference is getting stronger and stronger, so it’s been five years in the making to get us back here.”

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

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    thomas david massettiNov 6, 2022 at 10:45 am

    When you’re outshot 18 to nothing your problem isn’t defense!