UMass Sports Recap – End of October 

By: Freeman Alfano

Men’s Basketball

Katherine Mayo, The Daily Collegian

While the Massachusetts’ Men’s basketball season has not officially begun, the squad has already recorded a win this season. On Tuesday, the Minutemen defeated Western New England by a score of 83-47 as freshman guard TJ Weeks led the team with 18 points, including four makes from beyond the arc. While UMass started out slow in this one, the team consistently ramped up the pace throughout the game and let up just 18 points in the second half as they had more than double WNE’s points. 

Sy Chatman and top recruit Tre Mitchell added 13 points apiece in the blowout, with Chatman grabbing nine boards in the contest as well. Mitchell flashed his offensive versatility in this one, as he scored in multiple areas within the offense, including two threes. 

The only surprising disappointment during the team’s unofficial opener was the scoring impact on the game by Carl Pierre (or lack thereof). While the team’s leading scorer from last year had a team-high four steals, he had just five points on three shots during his 21 minutes of action. For the Minutemen offense to operate at its full potential, Pierre has to be an integral part of the attack night in and night out. 

Coach Matt McCall’s squad begins their season next Tuesday against UMass Lowell. Last season, the Minutemen defeated Lowell by a score of 83-75 as Pierre had a team-high 21 points. The game will be at 7:30 in the Mullins as part of the back-to-back night after Women’s Basketball.

Hockey

Umass.edu

Over the past few weeks, the UMass Minutemen have increased in the rankings by their hard game play and amazing three wins at home. However, they had one 3-1 loss away at Northeastern on Oct. 15. The Huskies had managed to get two goals during the first period. Then in the second, the Minutemen got on the board by a goal by Matthew Kessel from Jeremy Davidson to make the game 2-1. However, Northeastern’s Zach Solow ended the game 3-1 with an empty netter and unfortunately Northeastern managed to come out on top. 

The week after, the Minutemen gained two big wins over Union College, first a 6-1 victory followed by a huge shutout game, 5-0, the next night. In the first game against Union, it was a slow start with no goals in the first. However, the game picked up with a goal by Bobby Trivigno which he quickly added with an exciting power play goal to get the Minutemen up 2-0. The game intensified when Union got their only goal of the game and brought the score to 2-1. However, the Mullins Center fired up again when Reed Lebester closed the period by redirecting a shot from Zac Jones to get back UMass’s two goal lead. When going into the third, UMass got two back-to-back goals, one from John Leonard and another by Zac Jones bringing UMass way ahead of Union College, 5-1. To finish out the game, a great effort by Reed Lebester gave him his second goal of the night to give the Minutemen their 6-1 win. 

UMass faced Union College again the next night with strong hopes for a big victory. Finishing the game 5-0, they started off the first period with an electrifying goal by Anthony Del Gaizo, which was his first of the season. Also in the first, Cal Kiefiuk brought the score to 2-0 with a tip in from Zac Jones. About half-way through the second period, the Minutemen were given a power-play, during which Mitchell Chaffee scored his first of two goals on the night with a big drive to the net. Bobby Trivigno followed up his scoring from the night before with another goal to bring UMass up 4-0. By the end of the game, UMass greatly overpowered Union with an impressive 38-15 shots on goal margin. The 5-0 win also gave Filip Lindberg his fifth career shutout. 

The Minutemen then faced AIC the following week and increased their record to 3-1 with a huge 4-1 win at home. The Minutemen were quick to start the game with a goal by Anthony Del Gaizo in the first, but AIC managed to put themselves on the board with 50 seconds left in the period. The second period stretched on, as neither team could get a second goal in and UMass got the disadvantage of a five minute major, which became a 5-on-3 for a full two minutes. They played the penalty strong despite this and held off AIC from scoring. Even though UMass faced many penalty kills that caused them to have to undergo 17 minutes of penalty kill, they came out on top with two big goals from John Leonard, one being an empty netter, and a goal from Cal Kiefiuk, which ended the game 4-1. In net was Matt Murray, who made 15 saves for the night. UMass again dominated in shots 29-16 over AIC. 

Currently, the Minutemen have moved up in the rankings to the #3 spot with three wins and one loss. This weekend they take on #10 Northeastern away for the second time on Nov. 1 and then again the next night at home. Be there for puck drop at 8 pm on Nov. 2 to cheer them on! Go UMass!

By: Bri Repetto

Women’s Basketball

Eric Schelkun

Women’s Basketball also had a scrimmage earlier this week, as they defeated UMass Dartmouth by a score of 89-39. Sophomore guard Destiny Philoxy had a team-high 23 points to go with seven assists, and her and senior guard Vashnie Perry combined for an absurd 15 steals. The Minutewomen finished with a total of 27 steals (20 more than Dartmouth) as seven players recorded at least two swipes in the contest.

Perry also added 20 points of her own to go with four rebounds and six assists for a well-rounded game to prepare herself for her final season. Sydney Taylor and Paige McCormack also had double figures in this one, with McCormack finishing the contest with 11 rebounds, as well.

The Minutewomen will play the first of two basketball games at Mullins next Tuesday against Merrimack. Tip-off for the season opener is scheduled for 4:30 PM.

Field Hockey

Thom Kendall, UMass Athletics

After a small rough patch during the middle of the season, the Minutewomen Field Hockey team is back to firing on all cylinders. Now 9-8, the team has won five of its last six games as they try to make a late-season push and potentially make the A-10 Tournament next weekend.

The key to the Minutewomen’s late-season run has been their airtight defense. UMass has not given up more than two goals in a game in over a month and gave up two goals just twice during the month of October. 

One of the main contributors to this stretch has been captain Lucy Cooper. During the team’s three-game road winning streak, Cooper had a goal and three assists. She now has a team-high six goals and 17 points, the latter of which is five more than the next closest player. 

For the final home game of the season, the Minutewomen will face VCU on Friday afternoon for their Senior Night game. Following that is possibly the hardest matchup of the season in a road game against #3 UConn on Sunday, who has lost just once at home this year. Make sure to come out and support the Minutewomen at Gladchuk at 3 PM in what could be their last home game of the season.

Women’s Soccer

Thom Kendall, UMass Athletics

Like field hockey, the Minutewomen Soccer team had a stellar finish to their regular season. The team went 4-1-1 over their last six games and finished with an overall record of 9-5-3. 

Although the team lost their regular season finale against VCU, they exhibited their dominance in their last home game against LaSalle. In a 4-2 victory, freshman Serena Ahmed finished with a goal and an assist, including a beauty in the 64th minute under the crossbar, while junior Jenny Hipp added a pair of assists. 

One of the biggest factors for the Minutewomen’s success this season has been graduate goalkeeper Peyton Ryan. The nifty netminder has started all 17 games for UMass this season, posting an 8-4-3 record and just a 1.63 goals against average. 

Up ahead for the Minutemen Soccer team is their biggest test yet: a matchup with Fordham to start off the A-10 Soccer Championship on Sunday at Rudd. While Fordham finished the regular season five games below .500, the tournament certainly isn’t the time to start overlooking opponents. 

The winner of Sunday’s game will face either George Washington or Saint Joseph’s in the semifinals. Kickoff at Rudd is scheduled for 1 PM.

Football

Jon Krispin

While UMass displayed some of their promise in the Walt Bell Era a few weeks ago against Akron, the success from that game has not continued, especially on the defensive end. Since that energetic win, the Minutemen have let up 169 points over three games, including 69 to Louisiana Tech two weeks ago. The team’s porous run defense was the biggest contributor to the loss in that one, as 385 of Louisiana’s 689 total yards came on the ground – more than three times the number of yards rushing UMass had. 

However, the offense played one of its best games of the season against UConn, as their 35 points was the second-most they’ve scored this year. Bilal Ally, who now has over 1,000 career rushing yards at UMass, led the offensive charge with 159 yards on the ground a two touchdowns. Also contributing to the scoring output was receiver Jermaine Johnson, who had four catches for 92 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown reception. 

Another player who has continued to star in multiple phases of the game for the Minutemen is cornerback Isaiah Rodgers. Against Louisiana Tech, Rodgers had 187 total yards on kickoff returns, including a career-long 87 yard return. Rodgers has made a name for himself at this school with dynamic plays, and he’s been creating that at a consistent pace this season.

Up next for the Minutemen is a matchup with Liberty this Saturday at noon, who come in to this one with a 5-3 record. Last season, UMass won a high-scoring thriller against the Flames, as Cooper Garcia kicked the game-winning field goal in triple overtime to go out on top 62-59. We’ll be hoping for a game like that one tomorrow at McGuirk as Coach Bell looks to pick up his second win on the year.

UMass Sports Recap/Preview – End of September/Early October

By: Freeman Alfano

Football

Caroline O’Connor, UMass Athletics

Two weeks ago, the Minutemen defeated the Akron Zips 37-29 in Amherst for their first win of 2019 and Walt Bell’s head coaching career. That has been one of the only bright spots this season, as the team followed up that dramatic W with a 44-0 shutout loss to the FIU Panthers. 

The victory against Akron was fun and exciting, especially considering the encouraging play from third-string quarterback Michael Curtis. Although he battled through cramps late in the game, he helped the Minutemen throw for over 200 yards and tossed two touchdowns, including a dime on fourth and three on the goal line to Sadiq Palmer. Also showing out in this one was Isaiah Rodgers, who returned an interception 58 yards to the house. The do-it-all cornerback is now tied for fourth in the FBS in interceptions this season with three on the year.

Despite the big win, the Minutemen still have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball. Massachusetts has the fourth-worst yards per pass attempt in the FBS this season with 5.2, which is actually an improvement from a couple of weeks ago. On the other end, the Minutemen have let up 244 rushing yards per game, which is also good for fourth-worst in the FBS. This was the main reason they weren’t able to compete against FIU, as the Panthers out-rushed Massachusetts by 240 yards. 

The team will take on Louisiana Tech this Saturday at 7 p.m. looking to get their second win in three games and their first win on the road. The Bulldogs’ balanced offense has carried them to a 4-1 record so far with their only loss being against #10 Texas in their season opener. 

Hockey

The Militia 2019 Hockey Open Practice

At the end of their 2018-2019 season, the Massachusetts Men’s Hockey team comes out as reigning Conference Champions and NCAA Finalists. They made history as the first Minutemen team to make it to the Frozen Four, an achievement well deserved by their amazing play throughout the season. Having stayed in the top of the rankings all year, they finished second in the NCAA Men’s Hockey Rankings with a record of 31-10-0 and just one home loss. 

This year, they hope to keep the momentum going by extending coach Greg Carvel’s contract through the 2023-2024 season as well as extending assistant coaches Jared DeMichiel and Brett Barr and appointing new captains Mitchell Chaffee, who finished last season with 79 career points, and Niko Hildenbrand, who finished last season with 105 career points. The Minutemen also added nine new freshmen, including Zac Jones and Reed Lebster, to help push the team going forward. As of right now, Massachusetts is ranked number four in the NCAA Men’s Hockey Rankings, and will look to prove their status as an elite team in the post Cale Makar era.

This Friday October 11 is the team’s home opener against Rensselaer at 7 pm in the Mullins Center. Last season, UMass achieved victory over them both times they played RPI; winning their first matchup 6-1 and the second by a score of 3-1. Friday night should be an exciting game, and we’re expecting a great turnout to keep the Mullins Center rocking in 2019. Next week, the Minutemen take on #15 Northeastern on the road, followed by two home matchups against Union College next Friday and Saturday. Go UMass! 

-Brianna Repetto

Men’s Soccer

UMass Athletics

After a dominant start to the season in which they outscored their opponents 12-1, the Minutemen are in a bit of a slump. Massachusetts has lost their last six games, including four matches by just one goal. This run has been marked by tough losses to rivals UMass Lowell and Boston College, along with their last three defeats against Atlantic 10 opponents. 

The biggest issue for Massachusetts since the start of their losing streak has been their scoring (or lack thereof). Since September 17, when their losing streak started, the Minutemen have scored just one goal and have not scored in their last five games. Turning around the offense and developing a consistent attack will be key to this team getting back on track to how they started off.

Up next, the Minutemen will take on Fordham on Saturday at Rudd, followed by a second straight home matchup against Yale on Tuesday. Each matchup will present an entirely different level of competition, as Fordham comes into the game with a 3-8-1 overall record, while the Bulldogs are undefeated this season with two ties.

Women’s Soccer

Thom Kendall, UMass Athletics

The Minutewomen soccer team has fared better recently than their male counterparts. Heading into Columbus Day weekend, Massachusetts is two games above .500 with a notable tie against #21 Tennessee a couple of weeks ago. Their last two games have gone to overtime, with the Minutewomen recording a 1-1 record in these extra time matchups. All of their last five games have been against Atlantic 10 opponents, during which the team has a respectable 3-2 record. 

The key for the Minutewomen’s success this season has been their ability to come up clutch and score timely goals. In addition to the overtime winner by Sini Laaksonen against Rhode Island last Sunday, Massachusetts scored three straight, including the eighth and ninth goals of the season by Melissa Kossler, against Saint Joseph’s to secure a come-from-behind 4-3 victory. Additionally, the Minutewomen scored those three goals between the 70th and 80th minutes, and the game tying and winning goals came just 40 seconds apart from one another.

Massachusetts will conclude their season with five more Atlantic 10 games, including two straight starting this Sunday at Rudd. The Minutewomen will take on Dayton on Sunday and Davidson next Thursday. While Dayton has been mediocre this season, the Wildcats will present more of a challenge, as they are currently four games above .500 and have a 3-1-1 Atlantic 10 Conference record this season.

Field Hockey

Thom Kendall, UMass Athletics

While the Minutewomen have been struggling as of late, they recently had their most important win of the season. Last Friday, Massachusetts defeated #25 Northeastern 2-0 for the team’s first win against a ranked opponent this season. Interestingly enough, the game featured goals by the Minutewomen in the first and last minutes of the matchup, but none in between from either side. 

Outside of the dramatic Northeastern victory, however, Massachusetts has lost three of their last four games and five of their last seven. While three of these losses have come against ranked opponents, this stretch certainly isn’t what the team envisioned after defeating Yale 4-1 and Dartmouth 1-0 in an overtime thriller. 

Luckily for the Minutewomen, they have just one ranked opponent left on their schedule after facing six to start the season. They will look to change their losing ways starting this Friday on the road against Davidson, followed by two more road matchups against Lock Haven and Francis next weekend. 

Review of the first half of September for Umass Athletics!