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 women’s soccer defeats Syracuse 2-0

Minutewomen take home opener
Sophie-Zoe Schreyer
Daily Collegian (2022)

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team displayed its ferocity with a 2-0 victory over the Syracuse Orange in its home opener.

The Minutewomen bounced back from their loss to Yale on Sunday with a strong performance against Syracuse on Thursday afternoon. 

Just 20 minutes into the first half, the Minutewomen had already put two goals on the board. 

Juniors Ashley Lamond and Sarah Defreitas each had a goal in the first ever victory for UMass against Syracuse. 

Already up 1-0, Lamond netted her third goal of the season in the 13th minute. With sophomore Nia Hislop streaking down the right side of the pitch, Lamond found an open lane down the center of the field to give Hislop a passing option.

Syracuse goaltender Shea Vanderbosch took an aggressive line towards Hislop that left the net wide open for Lamond to tap in the cross.

“Changing our tactics a little bit…recognizing some of the things [Syracuse]  was doing,” head coach Jason Dowiak said. “Made a few early adjustments.”

Sarah Defreitas scored the first goal of the game in the third minute, her first of the season.

Defreitas crossed a ball into the middle of the field from the corner, finding not a fellow Minutewoman, but rather a rogue Orange who was in the wrong place at the wrong time as she deflected the ball into her own net.

This is the second time the Minutewomen have performed well against a Power 5 program this season.

Against such a strong opponent, the physicality was apparent in Thursday’s contest.

“We don’t want anybody to come in here and think that they can push us around,” Dowiak said. “Our team is tough, we’ve got a really mature group. When they tried to get physical, we just didn’t back down and I think we just started to impose our will on them.”

With just a few minutes left in the second half of the game, goalkeeper Bella Mendoaza continued to display her dominance by blocking a last chance effort from Syracuse. 

Mendoza had 5 saves on the afternoon and communicated effectively with her teammates when needed – illustrating a lot of improvement and leadership so far in the season.

“We bounced back after a loss to Yale with the best performance we had all year…our strength is the depth of our team.” Dowiak said. “If we could play like this everyday it would be amazing.”

After four straight road matches to begin the season, taking the field at Rudd Field again was a breath of fresh air for the Minutewomen.

“It’s so nice to be home,” Dowiak said. “We challenged ourselves with playing on the road for the first four games, got some really good results, saw some really good things. This was a culmination of being excited about being home and being able to put everything together we wanted.”

The Minutewomen play their next game at home against the Bryant University Bulldogs with kickoff at 1 pm on Sunday, September 3 and will be streamed live on ESPN+.

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