UMass Advances To Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship
Nov. 2, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass field hockey team used a three-goal spurt in the first half to push past Temple, 5-2 during semifinal competition of the Atlantic 10 Tournament at Garber Field on Friday afternoon. Senior defender Thando Zono recorded a pair of goals on the contest with senior forward Nicole Cordero, senior midfielder Kim Young and sophomore midfielder Renee Suter added one tally each in the winning effort.
The No. 3-seeded Owls (12-9 overall) struck first with a goal only 4:52 into the contest to take an early 1-0 lead. On a penalty corner, Nicole Kroner inserted the play to Mandi Shearer, who stopped the ball for Katie Briglia, with Briglia finding the right side of the cage for the initial tally.
However, the Minutewomen offense responded with three unanswered goals over the remainder of the first stanza to secure a 3-1 lead entering intermission. Suter totaled the first UMass goal as junior forward Alyssa Ineson sent a pass along the goalmouth to Suter at the right post. The Millersvile, Pa., native redirected the play into the right side of the cage to even the score at the 15:12 mark.
Zono continued scoring for UMass (13-8) with the senior's eighth goal of the season in the 21st minute. Using a penalty corner, Zono blasted a shot down the center of the circle to stake the Mintewomen to a 2-1 lead, with senior midfielder Kate Heineman and senior defender Callie Sweigart earning assists on the play.
Young found the back of the cage only five minutes later to push the UMass lead to 3-1. Zono created the play with a pass toward the right side of the circle from the center - with Young redirecting the ball around the right post for the senior's 12th goal of the year.
The Owls offense responded in the second half with a goal at the 41:43 mark as A-10 leading scorer Amber Youtz deflected a pass from Shearer by UMass freshman goalkeeper Sam Carlino to pull Temple within one tally of tying. The Owls nearly found the equalizer following the ensuing re-start; however, the officials called the mark back after it was ruled a Temple player used her foot to illegally play the ball in front of the UMass cage.
With the Minutewomen holding onto a 3-2 lead following the disallowed goal, Cordero padded the advantage unassisted in the 49th minute. After Temple goalkeeper Lizzy Millen knocked a UMass shot into the air in front of the cage, Cordero raced toward the goalmouth and tapped the ball down in the center of the goal to extend the lead to 4-2.
Zono capped scoring in the 68th minute to put the contest out of reach for the Owls. To notch her second penalty corner of the afternoon, Zono blasted an attempt into the center of the cage again, this time using a stop from junior midfielder Alexa Sikalis and insert from Heineman to reach the final score.
UMass led in shots, 17-16 while on-target attempts were tied, 9-9 over the contest. Temple notched a 13-6 advantage in penalty corners, with the Minutewomen successfully defending nine in the second half to stymie the potent Owls offense.
Carlino made six stops in the cage while sophomore forward Mariajose Rodriguez added a defensive save for UMass. Millen turned aside three shots for Temple while Briglia added a defensive save for the Owls.
With the win, No. 19 UMass advances to the Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship Game on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. The Minutewomen will face No. 1-seeded and No. 16-nationally ranked Richmond (16-4) in the contest, as the Spiders won their semifinal matchup with VCU, 5-0 to reach the tournament finale.