It was a thrilling finish on Thursday afternoon at Rudd Field as Julia Weithofer's Golden Goal with 46 seconds left in the second overtime won the UMass women's soccer team its fourth straight match and its Atlantic 10 opener against La Salle. Along with Weithofer's goal, the game was highlighted by a fourth straight clean sheet for Cassidy Babin and the defense. Senior forward Jackie Bruno also made an unexpected return to the pitch after being cleared following a lengthy battle with Lyme disease that was originally thought to be season ending for the forward.
Tom Mulherin of the Daily Collegian has a feature looking at the play of the UMass women's soccer team defensively - a category in which the Minutewomen lead the Atlantic 10 and are one of the best in the nation. Head coach Ed Matz says that veteran leadership and improved defensive play at all positions has been a key:
"You have to look at the fact that at times, we have three seniors back there," Matz said. "I think all of them are experienced defenders and are all doing very well. Early on we had to move Georgia to center-back, which isn't her natural position, and she's getting more comfortable playing next to Rebekka."
"I think that they are all very focused," he added. "They are all tremendous leaders, they are probably our three best kids and probably three of our hardest working kids. They're seniors, they want to make this the best year possible."
Adam Aucoin of the Daily Collegian has a preview of Thursday afternoon's Atlantic 10 opener for the UMass women's soccer team as La Salle visits Rudd Field. La Salle has had the upper hand in the series over the last several years which head coach Ed Matz says is motivation for his program.
UMass women's soccer prepares for rematch of last year's A-10 quarterfinals against La Salle : The Massachusetts Daily Collegian
Jason Kates of the Daily Collegian provides a preview of Saturday's Atlantic 10 opening match for the UMass men's soccer team at Saint Joseph's. Head coach Fran O'Leary said the team has shown strong performances recently and that he feels the program is ready for the start of conference play.
"We've got to take that leap from being competitive to winning," he said. "It's not an easy leap to make, but Saturday would be a great time to start it."
Ross Gienieczko of the Daily Collegian has a feature which looks at the importance of converting, and defending, set piece attempts for the men's soccer team as Atlantic 10 play starts this weekend.
Sunday's (9/27) games versus Dartmouth have been canceled, but Saturday's (9/26) doubleheader against Army West Point and Boston College are on as scheduled!
Saturday's game schedule will be UMass hosting Army West Point at noon and Boston College at 4 p.m. In between games, Boston College and Army square off at 2 p.m.
Admission is free and the games will be held at Sortino Field in Amherst.
Jason Kates of the Daily Collegian has a look at the improvements made by the UMass men's soccer team on the defensive side of the ball. Head coach Fran O'Leary states that the program is making progress and starting to come together as the non-conference slate winds down this weekend.
"I think for the last couple of games we've been very solid, so now we're getting into consistency. I think we look at it as team defense, so from front-to-back we've become a lot more consistent and that's why we're able to put in some competitive performances."
UMass men's soccer defense continues to progress as conference play approaches : The Massachusetts Daily Collegian
Adam Aucoin of the Daily Collegian has a feature on Jackie Bruno and her battle with Lyme disease which has caused her to miss the 2015 campaign. Despite not being able to play during her senior season, Bruno strives to help the program succeed from the sideline.
"I always tried to instill that family vibe," she said. "These girls are like my sisters. I would do anything for them, and I know they have my back like I have theirs."
Christopher Martinez of the Daily Collegian has a preview of the upcoming women's tennis season which starts this weekend at the Brown Invitational. Head coach Judy Dixon says expectations are high with the bulk of last year's roster returning from its Atlantic 10 runner-up finish last spring.
Dan Malone of MassLive.com has a recap of the UMass women's soccer team's 2-0 win over Harvard on Sunday. The story includes a photo gallery from the match courtesy of J. Anthony Roberts.