Minutemen Looking To Slow Down High-Powered Orange
Sept. 24, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - When the Massachusetts men's soccer team face Syracuse for the first time in program history on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Rudd Field, it will be looking to stop one of the stronger offensive attacks in the country.
UMass (3-3-2) has used its traditionally strong defense to limit scoring opportunities at home this season, allowing an average of just five shots on goal while outscoring the opposition 5-1. The Minutemen were particularly strong in Saturday's 2-0 win over Dartmouth when they held the Big Green to just six shots on goal.
The Minutemen have also seen improvement on offense from a year ago. UMass has nine goals thus far compared to eight during the entire 2011 slate. Head coach Sam Koch's team is also putting a higher percentage of shots on goal as 43 percent have been on target.
Syracuse (7-2) has won five of its last six games, including its Big East opener over Seton Hall on Saturday. The Orange have scored in every game and are averaging 2.4 goals per contest on 15.4 shot attempts. Syracuse's defense is equally as stout, surrendering just five goals with seven shutouts. As of last week, they ranked second nationally in goals and third in shutout percentage.
The game will be UMass' final regular-season non-conference of the season. The squad will play an exhibition match at Montreal on Sept. 30 before opening Atlantic 10 action at Rhode Island on Oct. 6.
Admission to Tuesday's game is free.