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 grabs fifth home win with 4-1 victory over Loyola Chicago

The Minutewomen stay undefeated at home
Devin Lippman

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team remains undefeated at home after winning against Loyola Chicago 4-1 on Sunday.

The Minutewomen (7-3-3, 4-1-1 Atlantic 10) move to 5-0 at home with two more home games left in the regular season. Overall, they have 11 away games and seven home games in the regular season, taking advantage of limited opportunities at Rudd Field. The improvement is noticeable compared to last year’s 3-4-2 home record.

“I don’t want to leave,” UMass Head Coach Jason Dowiak said. “It’s so good to be home. There’s just something to be said about getting to sleep in your own bed.”

Going into the half leading by a goal, the Minutewomen came out for the second half ready to score more. The first goal after the break came from midfielder Bella Recinos in the 46th minute, who scored off a cross from Emma Pedolzky, putting UMass up 2-0.

Recinos found a spot in the Minutewomen’s scoring plays in three out of the four goals on Sunday. She assisted the first goal of the match to Ashley Lamond, drawing defenders towards the end line to pass it up to Lamond who was wide open in the box. Her second assist returned the favor to Pedolzky in the 52nd minute for UMass’ third goal.

“I … feel where the ball’s going and allow myself to get in position,” Recinos said. “I try to read the ball as best as I can.”

After the first three goals, UMass never lost its fight until the game was over. The offense continued to pressure the Rambler’s (5-6-2, 1-2-2 A-10) defense, aware of Loyola Chicago’s urgency to score. The Minutewomen scored their fourth goal of the game in the second half after Caroline Dickson’s shot rebounded off the crossbar, right into the feet of Lauren Robles, who put it into the back of the net.

The goal came about 10 minutes after the Ramblers struck and became the only team this season to score against UMass at Rudd Field. Loyola Chicago capitalized on one of its 11 corner kicks, finding the score in the 64th minute.

“We don’t want teams to think that they’re going to be able to find a way back into games,” Dowiak said. “That attitude was really unbelievable from the group [Sunday].”

Part of the reason why the Minutewomen are so successful at home is due to their goalkeeper, senior Bella Mendoza. Mendoza finished the game with nine saves, with two of them requiring agility that saved UMass from allowing the Ramblers a chance to win. Both saves were made with quick jumps to punch the ball over her head and out of play.

The starting players were given breaks throughout the game, rotating with the bench players to keep fresh legs on the field. The substitutions did not show a lack of strength, with the final goal and assist coming from two bench players.

“There was a moment where we kind of dealt with … more pressure, calmed that down and then brought the intensity up,” Dowiak said. “It’s great that when we make changes, our quality still stays really high.”

UMass has a week-long break until its next game at home, playing St. Bonaventure on Sunday, Oct. 8. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Rachel Toth can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @RachelToth46.

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