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 takes first home win against Lafayette 1-0

Alexa Collins notches her first career goal in the win
Kayla Wong
Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts field hockey team used strong defense to keep Lafayette off the board for a 1-0 win on Sunday.

One goal was all it took for the Minutewomen. Alexa Collins netted the ball after sophomore Mali Herberhold dished her the ball across the zone in the third quarter. Herberhold’s assist was her first of the year and 10th of her career.

“(It feels) really good,” Collins said. “It was definitely something that I’ve been waiting for and training for.”

Collins, a sophomore, appeared in 18 games last year for UMass (3-1) and had three shots, none of which were on goal. Her goal Sunday was her first career shot on goal and it found the back of the net.

“Alexa’s work rate on off the ball, on attack, and also on defense on the press. It’s topnotch…she was in the right spot at the right time, paying attention in a chaotic moment,” head coach Barb Weinberg said.

Prior to the goal, Weinberg subbed in Savanna Henderson who outran the tired Leopards (1-3) defense into the offensive zone to begin the possession that would lead to the goal. With Henderson’s fresh legs, she ignited the UMass offense while Lafayette continued to struggle.

With her fresh legs, Henderson made plays to keep offense going.

“I thought that was the moment that really sparked our attack,” Weinberg said.

Myrte van Herwijnen had four saves in the shutout, adding onto the four saves she had on Friday against Harvard.

“[Van Herwijnen is] a super strong goalie and it’s really reassuring knowing that you have a strong keeper behind you,” Collins said.

Both teams combined for eight corners with Lafayette having five and the Minutewomen having three, none of which led to a goal for either team.

“[Van Herwijnen] super competitive,” Weinberg said. “She’s someone that’s gonna rise to the occasion. She loves the game and she’s getting a lot of action.”

Van Herwijnen was the steady starter for UMass in her freshman year last season, a role she is poised to continue and thrive in throughout 2023. With the strong start she had, she earned the Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team and also was Atlantic 10 Rookie of The Week.

Lafayette came out strong with three shots in the first quarter. Additionally, they had two corners in the first quarter, but the Minutewomen held strong. The shutout was UMass’ first of the year.

“It was a tough game all around from the weather to Lafayette being a really strong opponent.” Weinberg said. “I thought it was a very evenly matched game and I’m proud of the team for coming out with the win.”

The Minutewomen turn their attention to No. 2 Northwestern in Orono, Maine on Saturday, September 9. Faceoff is slated for 1 p.m.

“Definitely working on our connections,” Weinberg said when asked about what they need to do heading into a weekend with back-to-back games. “We had a lot of unforced errors today, so connecting with our strikers more often so we can have more chances.”

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

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