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 suffers first loss of the season to Harvard

Jess Beech nets lone goal for the Minutewomen
Kayla Wong
Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts field hockey team took its first loss of the season in its home opener in a 2-1 battle against Harvard on Friday afternoon.

Jess Beech put up the lone goal for UMass (2-1) in the third quarter of a hard-fought game. Paula Lorenzini assisted the goal with a on the target pass through the zone that met the stick of the waiting Beech. The goal was Beech’s second goal in just as many games, picking up right where she left off after netting eight last year.

“(Beech)  was in the right place at the right time with her hand on the floor for that tip, and it was beautiful,” head coach Barb Weinberg said. “She is a great leader on the field. She always has (been). She has a big hockey IQ and always has input tactically.”

Lorenzini has been playing both defense and offense for UMass so far this year. Along with her assist on Beech’s goal, she was one of the only players to take a shot.

“(Lorenzini) has always been incredible with the ball,” Weinberg said. “Her individual defense has also improved immensely, we saw it with Albany…on both sides of the ball, defense and also on attack. Paula is very dangerous.”

Harvard’s (1-0) first goal came in the second quarter after a save by Mytre van Herwijnen deflected into the waiting stick of the Crimson who netted the ball easily past the goalkeeper.

The Crimson’s second goal was not too long after Beech’s goal in the third quarter that put them up 2-1. The goal came off another rebound to the left side of the net despite van Herwijnen’s efforts where she saved four shots from Harvard.

Beech leads a group of five graduate students for UMass who opted to take a fifth year following their senior seasons last year. The group of veterans includes Steph Gottwals, Josie Rossbach, Emilie Keij and Emily Crawford.

The group has brought much needed experience with a young team. After a home loss in the Atlantic 10 Championship, the then seniors were eager to come back for a fifth year.

“I think that experience speaks for itself…you can see their leadership and their poise on the ball,” Weinberg said.

The Crimson dominated, keeping possession on the Minutewomen’s side for a majority of the game. UMass only managed to put one total shot on goal throughout Friday’s match with Beech’s goal. UMass also had two corners, neither of which led to goals to tie up the game.

“We need to manage the game,” Weinberg said. “It’s something we’ve talked about over the last week. In moments at the end of a quarter when we’re up by a goal, we need to be able to manage that and to be able to hold onto the lead. I thought in many areas of the game we played well.”

In the first quarter, the Minutewomen seemed to have controlled the ball and gave the Crimson a fight, not allowing them to score in that quarter.

UMass played the home opener in front of a packed crowd of 300 at Gladchuk Field on Friday.

“(It feels) amazing,” Weinberg said. “Move-in weekend and the students are back on campus. It always brings energy when we have fans at Gladchuk so we’ve got to keep them coming.”

The Minutewomen have a quick turnaround as they host Lafayette College on Sunday, September 3 at Gladchuk Field. Faceoff is set for noon.

Owen Shelffo can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @owen_shelffo.

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