Minutewomen Continue Challenging Non-Conference Slate
UMass to host Vermont, No. 21 Albany during upcoming weekend
Junior Alexa Sikalis notched her first goal of the season against No. 12 Boston University on Tuesday afternoon.
Sept. 20, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. -
The No. 25 University of Massachusetts field hockey team continues its six-game homestand with a pair of contest on Garber Field this weekend. The University of Vermont travels to Amherst on Friday, Sept. 21 for a 4 p.m. game before No. 21 UAlbany arrives on Sunday, Sept. 23 for a contest at 3 p.m.
Game Times Changed
The UMass Athletic Department and the Minutewomen field hockey program announced the change in three game start times on the home schedule on Wednesday, Sept. 12. Contests on Garber Field against No. 7 Northeastern, No. 11 Boston University and Vermont will now begin at 4 p.m. EST.
The changes are in accordance with the University of Massachusetts cancellation of nighttime outdoor activities over concerns of mosquito-borne illnesses. The state Department of Health recommended this precautionary move to help protect the Amherst community.
70 Minutes Just Isn't Enough
Through eight games on the 2012 season, the UMass field hockey squad has played into overtime on six occasions, meaning 75 percent of the team's games have required extra playing time to decide. UMass is 3-3 in games that go to overtime, with wins against No. 15 Ohio State, No. 17 Boston College and No. 18 New Hampshire.
Previously, UMass has played six or more overtime games in a season once, when the Minutewomen had six games need extra minutes during the 2000 campaign, which encompassed 23 contests.
Top-Notch Competition Providing Early Season Tests
Through eight contests, UMass field hockey has played a ranked foe six times, the most among all Atlantic 10 Conference schools. This year, UMass has faced No. 3 Maryland, No. 7 Northeastern, No. 12 Boston University, No. 15 Ohio State, No. 17 Boston College and No. 18 New Hampshire.
Within the Atlantic 10, the eight-team conference has played 19 top-25 opponents combined, with Richmond playing the second-most (4) while Saint Louis and Temple follow with three games a piece. La Salle, Lock Haven and Saint Joseph's have each squared off against one ranked team while VCU has yet to face a top-25 opponent.
As a whole, the conference has gone 5-14 against NFHCA Top-25 opposition, with UMass owning three of those victories. Richmond downs No. 25 American University on Aug. 24 and Temple fought by No. 15 Drexel to join UMass as the only A-10 teams with wins over top-25 teams.
UMass Suffers Heartbreaking Loss In Third Consecutive Overtime Game In it's sixth overtime contest in eight games this season, the No. 25 UMass field hockey team endured a heartbreaking defeat, 3-2 to No. 12 Boston University. Alexa Sikalis and Nicole Cordero each notched one goal for the Minutewomen while Kate Heineman recorded an assist at Garber Field on Tuesday afternoon.
The Terriers (6-2 overall) earned the game-deciding goal in the 86th minute of action. Rachel Coll settled a pass from Ella Gunson and placed a shot by UMass freshman goalkeeper Sam Carlino to finalize play.
The Minutewomen (3-5) notched an opening-minute goal for the second consecutive contest to break the scoreless tie only 45 seconds into the game. With the ball loose in the circle near Boston University's starting goalkeeper, Valentina Cerda, Sikalis placed a soft shot into the left side of the cage for the 1-0 lead.
After BU knotted the game at 1-1 in the 18th minute, UMass responded at the 21:24 mark as Heineman slotted a pass to Cordero in front of the cage, with Cordero working the ball around Terrier goalkeeper Valentina Cerda to push UMass into the lead, 2-1.
BU closed regulation scoring at the 35:00 mark, as Jacinda McLeod secured a goal off of a penalty corner attempt after time in the half had expired. The play was allowed to continue past the end of the half as the penalty corner attempt was awarded prior to the end of play.
Terrapin Invitational Recap
The Minutewomen suffered a pair of defeats while in College Park, Md., for the Terrapin Invitational, dropping a game each to No. 3 Maryland and American. After falling 5-0 to the Terrapins to open competition at the tournament, UMass battled into the second overtime period with American before eventually falling, 2-1, in the 93rd minute.
After falling behind to American in the sixth minute, play remained even until sophomore defender Lauren Allymohamed secured her first collegiate tally for UMass at the 59:18 mark. Allymohamed deflected in a pass from senior midfielder Kim Young to even the score at 1-1.
During UMass' double-overtime contest with American, senior midfielder Kim Young recorded her 40th point as a Minutewoman on a game-tying assist. Young has remained one of the most consistent players for UMass since her arrival in Amherst in 2009, recording at least three goals in each season. Young has a pair of 13-point seasons (2009, 2011) and owns 14 goals and 12 assists in 68 career games. For her success on the field and in the classroom, Young has been awarded numerous honors, including First Team A-10 All-Conference (2011), A-10 All-Conference Rookie Team (2009) and NFHCA National Academic Squad and Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference (2011).
Starting Out Strong
Facing a treacherous non-conference schedule that includes 10 teams ranked in the NFHCA Top-25 Preseason Poll, UMass dropped No. 15 Ohio State, No. 17 Boston College and No. 18 New Hampshire to secure three victories over top-25 schools in as many attempts to open the year. Each contest required overtime, with the Minutewomen using the extra period to notch the game-deciding tallies for a trio of 2-1 victories.
Young Named UMass Athlete of the Week
Following a two-goal, one-assist weekend for Kim Young, the senior midfielder took home UMass Athlete of the Week honors. Young provided the game-tying mark at No. 17 Boston College before setting up the game-winner in the contest only 21 seconds into overtime. Young also secured a tally against Dartmouth, and the dangerous attacking player now owns a point in three of four games this year.
Through four contests on the 2012 season, Young has spearheaded the Minutewomen's offensive efforts with seven points on three goals and an assist. For her career, young now owns 39 points on 14 goals and 11 assists.
UMass Splits Weekend Series With Dartmouth, No. 17 Boston College
After faltering in their home-opener against the Big Green, 3-1, the Minutewomen rebounded immediately with a 2-1 overtime victory at No. 17 Boston College. Trailing 1-0 into the 62nd minute, senior forward Nicole Cordero fired an on-target shot that rebounded to Kim Young. The senior midfielder rushed the net to corral the loose ball and redirected it into the back of the goal to tie the contest at 1-1. After playing the remainder of the contest without either team recording a mark, UMass struck for the deciding tally only 21 seconds into overtime. Young slotted a pass to Cordero following a short breakaway, with Cordero tipping home the centering pass to secure the win.
Young also notched the lone Massachusetts goal against Dartmouth, earning UMass Athlete of the Week honors for her five points on the weekend.
Prince Named Atlantic 10 Player Of The Week
After helping UMass to a pair of wins against ranked opponents, junior Hannah Prince was named Atlantic 10 Field Hockey Player of the Week, the league office announced on Aug. 27.
Prince scored the first two goals of her career, both overtime game-winners, as the Minutewomen defeated No. 18 New Hampshire and No. 15 Ohio State by 2-1 margins on Friday and Saturday in Durham, N.H. She factored in UMass' first goal vs. the Buckeyes, as well, dishing her first career assist.
UMass Downs No. 18 New UNH, No. 15 Ohio State During Opening Weekend
UMass posted a pair of 2-1 overtime wins vs. No. 18 New Hampshire and No. 15 Ohio State last weekend in Durham, N.H. It marked the first two victories over ranked opponents of head coach Carla Tagliente's tenure.
The pair of wins put the Minutewomen out to their first 2-0 beginning to a season since 2000. UMass' last 3-0 start came in 1996 when the squad opened up with four consecutive wins.
Brooke Sabia, Allie Sabia, Courtney Spleen, Noralie Weusthuis and Sam Carlino all made their collegiate debuts at New Hampshire. Allie Sabia also logged her first career assist against the Wildcats.
In addition to the two game-winners by Prince, seniors Kim Young and Thando Zono also added tallies against UNH and Ohio State, respectively. In goal for UMass, Carlino had three saves vs. the Buckeyes.
Bulk Of Scoring Production Back
UMass returns nine of its 11 players who scored goals last season, including its top-three points producers from 2011 in senior Kim Young, redshirt-senior Callie Sweigart and junior Lindsay Bowman.
The returning Minutewomen were responsible for 65 of the squad's 80 total points last season and 23 of 28 goals. Young led the charge with 13 points on four goals and five assists, en route to all-region and All-Atlantic 10 honors.
Atlantic 10 Predictions
UMass was tabbed second in the 2012 Atlantic 10 preseason poll. Trailing only the defending champion Richmond Spiders, the Minutewomen were picked ahead of Temple, VCU, La Salle, Saint Joseph's, Lock Haven and Saint Louis in voting conducted among the league's eight head coaches.
UMass was the No. 2 seed in last year's A-10 Championships after the Minutewomen tied Richmond for the best regular season record in conference play at 5-1.
Youth In The Cage
UMass will be tasked with replacing four-year starter Alesha Widdall in the cage. Widdall, who was a two-time All-American, a four-year all-region and All-Atlantic 10 honoree in her time with the Minutewomen, was named to the 2012 U.S. Women's National Team this past summer.
Freshman Pennsylvania natives Sam Carlino and Sammy Zeiders will be looking to fill the void. Carlino played club with W.C. Eagles Field Hockey from 2007-2012 and was part of the team that took second at the National Club Championship in 2011. She was an all-area first team standout at Unionville High School. Zeiders was a two-time all-state honoree out of Lower Dauphin High School where she won a state title as a sophomore in 2009-10.
Series With The Catamounts
Vermont enters the contest in search of its first victory of the season, as the Catamounts have dropped their opening seven contests. Last season Vermont earned a 6-11 overall record while going winless in five America East Conference contests.
The Minutewomen have dominated the all-time series between the two teams, taking 11-of-13 meetings overall. Last season, UMass traveled to Burlington, Vt., to secure a 4-2 victory behind a pair of goals from Callie Sweigart and a mark each by Kim Young and Renee Suter.
Alana Izzo leads all UVM scorers with six points on two goals and a pair of assists. Colleen Slaughter has tied Izzo's goals output through seven games, earning four points as a result. Stephanie Zygmunt is again holding down the cage for the Catamounts, totaling a 3.29 goals-against average in 490 minutes of action, recording 69 stops for a .750 save percentage in her second season as a starter.
Overall, the Catamounts have been outscored, 23-8 while opponents have notched more points, 57-21. Foes also lead Vermont in shots, 140-88; shots on goal, 96-44 and penalty corners, 66-40.
Series With The Great Danes
UMass and UAlbany have met on six occasions in the history of the two programs, with each team securing three wins in the process. Most recently, the Great Danes came out ahead of the Minutewomen during a 2011 contest, 1-0 in penalty strokes. Kim Young led UMass with five shots during the contest while Nicole Cordero followed with a pair of attempts as the teams played through double-overtime scoreless. Alesha Widdall stopped 12 shots in 100 minutes of action while Albany led in shots, 20-8 and penalty corners, 20-4.
UMass last defeated the Great Danes during the 2009 season, when the Minutewomen earned a 1-0 victory in Albany, N.Y., on Sept. 11. Albany will play one contest against Lafayette on Saturday, Sept. 22 before traveling to Amherst to face the Minutewomen.
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