UMass Breaks Through For First Win As Offense Comes Alive In 5-2 Triumph Over Siena
Sept. 28, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - Massachusetts head coach Sam Koch had preached offensive patience through the first nine games of the season, reminding his young team that the offense would come around if they just kept working.
On Saturday afternoon the offense came around in a big way as UMass (1-8-1) earned it's first victory of the season with a 5-2 decision over Siena (5-3). Josh Schwartz re-emerged as the top offensive threat with two goals and two assists, while Mark Morris added a pair of scores.
"We were able to score goals today and when you can score goals, even if you make mistakes it doesn't matter as much," Koch said. "When you take as many shots as we have been taking lately, sooner or later you are going to start to score goals."
Morris put the Minutemen ahead in the 16th minute when he connected on a corner kick from Schwartz. Five minutes later it was Schwartz's turn as Luke Pavone fed the junior who shot a rocket from about 25 yards out at the 20:28 mark.
The Saints cut the margin in half just before the break as Falko Friedrichs slipped a ball past Nick Ruiz in traffic with 2:46 left on the clock.
Siena came out in the second period and put a lot of pressure on the UMass early, but the Minutemen answered and extended the lead to two goals just 2:20 into the frame. Schwartz cleaned up a loose ball following a Matt Keys shot that was initially saved by Ryan Vyskocil. It was Schwartz's team-high fourth score of the year.
The Saints pulled to within 3-2 on a James Beeston goal in the 65th minute. But the Minutemen responded one final time when Keys headed a throw-in to the side of the goal box where Morris flipped his body and floated a perfectly executed bicycle kick into the net.
Late in the contest, Schwartz put a ball into the middle of the field where senior Connor Devivo took the give-and-go and scored his first of the year with 85 seconds remaining.
The five goals are the most in a game since a 5-0 win over Saint Joseph's in 2003. They are also tied for the sixth-most in Division I this season.
Ruiz made six saves for the Minutemen, who were outshot 25-17. Vyskocil made four stops for the Saints.
UMass will play an exhibition game at home next Sunday, Oct. 6 against a team from Canada, before opening Atlantic 10 play the followingweekend on the road against VCU and George Mason.