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 field hockey suffers Atlantic 10 championship loss

Minutewomen have second straight runner up finish
Kalina Kornacki
Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts field hockey team lost in the Atlantic 10 championship against Saint Joseph’s 2-1 on Saturday in Richmond, Virginia. Going into the contest, UMass had a lot to play for having lost in the A-10 championship last year to Saint Joseph’s and suffered a crushing double overtime defeat to the team back on Oct. 6.

The Minutewomen (13-7, 5-2 A-10) scored their lone goal with 3:11 left in the second quarter. A penalty corner attempt went into the stick of Steph Gottwals who fired the ball to Hannah de Gast. De Gast wasted no time deflecting the ball into the back of the net for her first of the year. She was recently named A-10 defensive player of the year. Gottwals recorded her sixth assist of the season which ties her for first on the team with Mali Herberhold.

Saint Joseph’s, (16-4, 7-0 A-10) scored its first goal with five seconds remaining in the first quarter after an impressive through pass set up a Hawk attacker head on with UMass goalkeeper Myrte van Herwijnen who dove to make the save to no avail as Saint Jospeh’s found the net.

The go-ahead goal for the Hawks came with just under five minutes left in the third quarter on a penalty corner. The setup man fired the ball at the net deflecting off the goalkeeper and finding the stick of Hailey Bitters who had nothing but net in front of her. The goal would prove to be all Saint Joseph’s needed to secure its third straight A-10 title.

UMass outshot the Hawks 7-6 including a 5-0 shot difference in the second quarter.

Saint Joseph’s had six penalty corners to the Minutewomen’s four. Van Herwijnen, who was recently named A-10 goalkeeper of the year, had just two saves. She now has 104 saves in 17 games in net. Her performance in the tournament secured her a spot on the all-tournament team. Joining her was Herberhold, Dempsey Campbell and Claire Danahy.

“Today’s performance was a reflection of the work that we’ve done all season long playing against top opponents,” head coach Barb Weinberg said. “I thought today was the most complete performance our team’s put together all season long.”

Saint Joseph’s has now won three straight A-10 championships and five of the last six titles have gone back to Philadelphia with the Hawks. Lily Santi, who scored the first goal, was named the tournament’s most outstanding player for the second year in a row. With the win, the Hawks secured their spot in the NCAA tournament.

“I’m really proud of how our team performed today. I think we built a schedule all season long to prepare for our strongest conference opponents,” Weinberg said.

The Minutewomen will now eagerly await as the NCAA tournament selection show is Sunday November 5th at 10 p.m. They are in the running for an at-large bid. UMass is seeking its first tournament appearance since 2016.

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


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