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 picks up opening day victory over Stony Brook

Goal in 85th minute leads UMass to victory
Sophie-Zoe Schreyer / Daily Collegian (2022)

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team began its 2023 season with a 2-1 road victory over Stony Brook on Thursday night. The Minutewomen (1-0) had seven shots on goal compared to the Seawolves (0-1) two and controlled play for the majority of the game en route to their season opening win.

Nia Hislop scored a late-game goal in the 85th minute which sealed the Minutewomen victory. The sophomore cleaned up a rebound in the penalty area, claiming a late-game lead for UMass that it would not relinquish.

“[Hislop] is fearless,” head coach Jason Dowiak said. “She got into a great position for a rebound and was not going to not be the one who got on the end of the ball.”

Hislop didn’t get on the scoresheet last season in her 18 games, but Dowiak saw the offensive danger in her game.

“Her first year, she was a very dangerous player for us in a lot of ways,” Dowiak said. “I think a lot of teams worried about her. To get some production in game one is huge for us and for her to get her confidence up.”

In the 75th minute, UMass was flagged for a handball in the penalty box, leading to a penalty shot for Stony Brook’s Linn Beck. Beck didn’t waste the golden opportunity to get her team back in the game, firing her penalty shot to the top left of the net past Bella Mendoza.

The Minutewomen’s first goal of the season came off the foot of junior forward Ashley Lamond. Lamond fired a shot on the ground past Stony Brook goaltender Nicolette Pasquarella in the 60th minute for her first score of 2023.

After an eight-goal freshman campaign, Lamond was held to one tally in 2022. Already matching last season’s total, Lamond looks to be a dangerous option for UMass in the absence of last year’s scoring leader Lauren Bonavita.

UMass split time between goaltenders on Thursday night, sending senior Megan Olszewski out for the first half and replacing her with fellow senior Mendoza. The two split time in net last season and it will likely be another season of goaltending by committee from the Minutewomen.

“We are blessed to have two excellent goalkeepers,” Dowiak said. “Both incredibly sound, both have unbelievable hands. [Olszewski] is so great for us to start games because she’s so composed, makes great decisions, just doesn’t make very many mistakes throughout a season.

“[Mendoza] came in and had to face a little more adversity, especially being up 1-0 she faced a little bit more pressure and she handled it really well,” Dowiak said. “She made a couple of really important saves through traffic.”

The Minutewomen travel to Nashville this weekend to take on Vanderbilt. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday and will be streamed on ESPN+.

“It was not easy, it’s a tough place to play,” Dowiak said. “They’ve got a really competitive, intense group that put a lot of pressure on us early. We weathered that pressure, we stuck to our game plan of trying to move them with the ball, we love to see that early in the season.”

Matt Skillings can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @matt_skillings.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *