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 finishes non-conference play with 1-0 loss at Rutgers

Minutewomen begin conference play Thursday
Kayla Wong
Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team dropped its second game of the season to a strong Rutgers team by a score of 1-0 on Sunday night. Faced with a six-hour weather delay, the Minutewomen (3-2-2) couldn’t overcome a potent Rutgers (4-2-2) offense and will head back up to Amherst with a loss.

Allison Lowrey scored the game’s only goal in the 66th minute on a penalty kick. A foul from UMass’ Fiona Kane led to the PK for Lowrey, where she fired a perfectly placed shot past Bella Mendoza on the far-left side of the net for her sixth goal of the season.

Mendoza was otherwise perfect in net, stopping all five shots on goal that came her way, while being in the line of fire for 18 attempted shots from the Scarlet Knights.

“[Mendoza] was fantastic,” head coach Jason Dowiak said. “She’s a great voice behind us to organize. She’s just sound, in all possible ways for us. It’s great to see her continue to grow, we know she’s already such a great goalkeeper but she’s still growing and evolving every single game.”

Mendoza is the backbone of a UMass team that has gotten off to such a strong start, even after the loss to Rutgers. She currently has a goals against average of 0.99, good for second best in the Atlantic-10.

Despite the loss, Dowiak was pleased with the effort he saw from his team on Sunday night, playing against their third power five opponent of the season.

“A fantastic performance, just showing what we’re capable of in another opponent that’s a power five team that didn’t score on us in the realm of play,” Dowiak said. “We’ve shutout three power five programs from being able to score on us in the realm of play and that’s a huge testament to our organization and our commitment defensively.”

Ashley Lamond fired a team high four shots on Sunday night, something that has become a common trend. Lamond leads the Minutewomen in both goals and points, so it’s no surprise that her total shots taken has led UMass all season.

Coming into Sunday night, Lamond ranked fourth in the A-10 in shots taken with 18 and fifth in shots on goal with 11. Despite not factoring into the scoring against Rutgers, her presence on offense certainly gave the Minutemen a chance to compete on Sunday night.

A cancelled game against Albany notwithstanding, the Minutewomen have completed their 2023 non-conference schedule and will move on to A-10 play. First up on the conference schedule is George Washington, which will travel up to Amherst on Thursday for a contest from Rudd Field.

GW heads into Amherst with the same record as the Minutewomen, although they have played a considerably easier schedule with no power five matchups. Still, UMass will have its first conference test against a team it narrowly defeated 2-1 in its matchup last season in Washington D.C.

Kickoff at Rudd Field is set for 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14.

“I could not be more proud of our group,” Dowiak said. “We played some fantastic soccer. It was such a complete performance … we had to adjust a couple of things, but really proud of how we handled the differences they threw at us.

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

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