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 Bryant 2-0

Minutewomen outshoot Bulldogs 23-3
Kayla Wong
Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team advanced to 2-0 at Rudd Field Sunday afternoon, taking down Bryant 2-0. After holding a 1-0 lead for most of the game, the Minutewomen (3-1-2) slammed the door shut on the Bulldogs (2-2-1) with a goal from Bella Recinos in the 83rd minute.

Recinos began the play at midfield, cutting towards the center of the pitch and moving the ball to Lauren Robles, who was cutting the opposite way. Robles quickly chipped the ball into the goalie box for Emma Pedolzky, who one-touched it to Recinos who was streaking towards the net. Recinos left no room for error, blasting the ball past Bryant goalkeeper Selena Negron.

Recinos facilitating her own goal was a microcosm of how the Minutewomen played all afternoon, tiring Bryant defenders out with commanding ball control.

“I think we put pretty close to a complete game together for the first time this year,” head coach Jason Dowiak said. “We managed our possession really well, we created a lot of chances, had a lot of different people come on a make an impact.”

Juliana Ryan netted her first goal of the season in the 19th minute of the game. Ryan headed the ball into the right corner of the net off of a cross from Ella Curry. Ryan, a defender, is proving to be a weapon for UMass on both ends of the field.

“We work on the moments for our outside backs to advance and we try to create opportunities for numerical overloads high on the field,” Dowiak said. “[Ryan] is probably the best on our team coming out of the back and picking the moments, and she’s so committed to getting to those high positions on the field. She is fearless, so there was no way she wasn’t getting on the end of that ball.”

Outshooting the Bulldogs 23-3 on the afternoon, scoring opportunities were common for the Minutewomen but the score ended at a relatively tight 2-0 due to strong play in net from the Bryant goaltending combo of Selena Negron and Kathryn McNeil. Negron and McNeil combined for six saves and gave the Bulldogs every opportunity to remain in the game.

“We’d love to see some more goals, but we love that we’re getting two goals pretty consistently most games now,” Dowiak said. “Creation of chances is something that we continue to talk about.”

Now with six games under their belt, the Minutewomen have a gauge on how their team will look for the remainder of the season. 19 players logged minutes for UMass on Sunday afternoon, proving that this is a team that will likely look to succeed through committee rather than relying on its top players to carry the club.

The Minutewomen are also down a goaltender at the moment as Megan Olszewski is out with an injury. Bella Mendoza has taken over the starting role and has pitched two straight shutouts for UMass, ideally bringing stability to the position that will be important as A-10 play looms in the near future.

The Minutewomen won’t be back at Rudd Field until September 14 and hit the road for the next two games. Up next is a trip to Albany on Thursday, when UMass takes on UAlbany for the first time this season. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN+.

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

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