The Minutewomen are kicking off a three-week road swing starting in Storrs, Conn. to take on the No.4 Connecticut Huskies on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The Huskies are looking to avenge a loss to the Minutewomen in 2010. Last year was the first time UMass had beaten UConn in 10 years. UMass is 2-6 on the season while UConn comes in 7-1.
Follow The Action
Wednesday's game can be watched online on UMass All-Access at UMassAthletics.com.
Free live stats for the game will also be available on GameTracker.
UMass has played UConn more than any other opponent in the program's history. This will be the 47th meeting between the schools in a series that dates back to 1975. The Huskies lead the series, 30-13-3.
The teams last met on Sept. 11 of last year in Amherst, Mass. with the Minutewomen coming away with a 1-0 upset victory. Lindsay Bowman scored the first goal of her career off a pass from Mika Black, accounting for the game's lone score.
The pair of freshmen teamed up to break the scoreless tie and give the Minutewomen the lead with 14:26 left in the first half. Black dribbled the ball into the top of the circle from the right and with the reverse stick put the ball in front of the goal where Bowman knocked the ball out of the air and into the top of the goal. It was the first career points for both rookies.
It was the Minutewomen's first victory over the Huskies since 2000, a span of 11 games.
UConn is currently 7-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Big East. This
past week it defeated Providence, 4-0, after falling to Boston College
The Huskies and Minutewomen share one common opponent so far this year, Boston College. Both teams lost the game with UMass falling to BC, 5-0, and the Huskies fell to the BC, 3-1.
Chloe Hunnable leads the Huskies goals with seven and is tied in first for points with 16. Hunnable was just named the Big East Player of the week. Marie Elena Bolles also has 16 points on the year, with four goals and eight assists. Jestine Angelini also has recorded 16 points with five goals and six assists.
In goal, Sarah Mansfield has been the lone goalie for the Huskies recording a .87 goals against average and a .767 save percentage. She has four shutouts on the year.
#17 BU 3, UMass 0
A late first half goal and a pair of second half tallies gave No. 17 Boston University a 3-0 victory over UMass in a rain-soaked field hockey game at Garber Field on Friday night. Tabi Hatch's goal off a broken corner with 3:52 left in the first half broke a scoreless tie after the Minutewomen had controlled the play throughout much of the half.
After the Minutewomen held a 7-6 shot advantage in the first half, the Terriers outshot UMass 11-5 in the second to give them a 17-12 advantage for the game. The teams swapped 3-2 penalty corners each half, UMass leading in the first, BU in the second, to finish tied 5-5.
Hatch took a reverse-stick pass from Madeleine Hackett and scored her third goal of the season off a broken corner to give BU the lead late in the first half.
At the 56-minute mark, Giovanna Monaco scored her first goal of the season, sneaking a loose ball by Widdall, making it 2-0.
Hatch struck again in the 66th minute to close the scoring, taking short pass in front of the goal from Kat Spring to make it a 3-0 game.
#3 Maryland 4, UMass 1
No. 3 Maryland scored two unanswered second-half goals to turn what was a 2-1 game at halftime into a 4-1 victory for the Terrapins over UMass on Sunday afternoon at Garber Field. Kate Heineman scored the lone goal for the Minutewomen while Alesha Widdall made 11 saves in goal.
Heineman tallied her first goal of the season in the 17th minute when she knocked in the rebound of a Callie Sweigart shot off a penalty corner, pulling the Minutewomen within a goal, 2-1, the same margin the teams would take into halftime.
Alis McEvoy netted her first goal of the season in the 44th minute and Maxine Fluharty capped off the scoring in the 53rd minute to give the Terrapins the 4-1 win. McEvoy's goal came off a blast from the top of the circle on a pass from Megan Frazer, and Fluharty's fourth of the year came on a sharp-angled shot that went off Widdall's pads and in.
Jill Witmer and Katie Gerzabek gave Maryland an early 2-0 lead with goals in the eighth and ninth minutes. Witmer's came off a penalty corner while Gerzabek got her sixth of the year on a pass from Witmer.
Widdall kept the Minutewomen in the game with 11 saves, one short of her season high.
#20 Northeastern 2, UMass 1, OT
Carolyn Malloy scored off a penalty corner 6:58 into overtime to complete a comeback victory for No. 20 Northeastern (5-2) over UMass (2-4), 2-1 last Friday night at Garber Field. UMass took a first-half lead on a goal by Renee Suter, but the Huskies tied the game and forced the extra period on a Pam Aldridge goal with 11:03 left in regulation.
UMass held a 19-16 shot advantage for the game, but Northeastern outshot the Minutewomen, 4-1, in overtime. The Huskies drew 10 penalty corners, including two in OT, to UMass' eight.
After inserting Northeastern's second penalty corner of overtime, Malloy took a pass from Aldridge on the left post and scored her second of the season to give the Huskies the win 6:58 into overtime.
Suter gave the Minutewomen the early lead in the 24th minute when she tipped in a long pass from outside the circle off the stick of Kate Heineman. It was the freshman's second goal of the season while the junior Heineman collected her second assist of the year.
Alesha Widdall made six saves in goal for UMass including a few of the spectacular variety on Poland, the nation's leading scorer entering the week, who took a game-high nine shots with five on goal.
Vs. Ranked Opponents
The Minutewomen are 0-4 against ranked opponents this season, with losses to No. 14 Boston College, No. 20 Northeastern, No. 3 Maryland, and No. 17 Boston University.
Last season, UMass was 2-5 against ranked opponents, including a 2-3 mark against top 10 teams. Two of those losses came at the hands of Maryland, ranked No. 2 and No. 1, and the victories came against No. 4 Connecticut (1-0, 9/11) and No. 8 Syracuse (2-0, 10/3).
Dating back to 2008, UMass is 7-15 against ranked teams, 6-9 at Garber Field.
Suter Takes First Rookie Honor
UMass field hockey freshman midfielder Renee Suter was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week on Aug. 29. The Millersville, Pa. native notched her first career goal in UMass' 4-2 victory at Vermont on Aug. 29. Suter has started every game for the Minutewomen this season.
With UMass leading 2-0 at Vermont, Suter scored what proved to be the decisive goal in the Minutewomen's 4-2 win in the 22nd minute when she took a long outlet pass from Kim Young and blasted a shot off the inside of the post, beating Catamounts goalie Stephanie Zygmunt.
Suter has four points on two goals and 10 shots through seven games on the season.
Tagliente Era Begins
On Jan. 7 of this year, UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon announced Carla Tagliente as the new head coach of the field hockey program. A highly decorated player and coach, Tagliente comes to UMass from Northwestern, where she served as Associate Head Coach the last two years. The first-year head coach brings to UMass an aggressive attacking style of play that has revitalized offenses at Northwestern, Michigan, and Iowa.
Tagliente is one of the rising coaching stars in USA Field Hockey as well, currently serving as head coach of the U-19 US National Team for 2011. She led the squad in a overseas tour in Chile in April and also coached at the High Performance Championship in Virginia Beach this summer.
Tagliente comes to UMass with eight years coaching experience in the Big Ten Conference, with stops at Northwestern (2009-10), Michigan (2006-08), and Iowa (2003-05). Tagliente was an All-American all four years of a standout career at Maryland from 1997-2000, earning first-team honors the final three seasons.
The two-time Broderick Award finalist and 1999 National Champion went on to play seven years with the USA National Team. She replaces Justine Sowry, who was named head coach at Louisville in December after four seasons at UMass.
The Widdall Wall
The undisputed strength of the Minutewomen heading into 2011 is between the pipes in the form of senior Alesha Widdall. The goalkeeper from Whitney Point, N.Y. is a two-time All-American and three-time All-Conference performer, leading what has been the Atlantic 10's stingiest defense over the last three years.
Widdall has played more minutes than any active goalkeeper in the country, ranks fourth in goals against average, and fifth in save percentage.
Her Sept. 10 shutout against Harvard was the 22nd of her career and first of 2011.
Widdall started all 23 games in 2010, going 15-8. Her .776 save percentage and 1.19 goals against average both ranked seventh-best in the country.
Tri-Captains For 2011
Joining Alesha Widdall as captains for the 2011 season are fellow senior Nikki Panciocco and junior Thando Zono. Panciocco, a midfielder from Walpole, Mass., was tied for second on the team last season with eight assists. Zono, a defender in her second year at UMass after transferring from a school in South Africa, is out for this weekend as she recovers from off-season knee surgery.
In The Polls
The National Field Hockey Coaches Association released its Top 20 Preseason Poll on Aug. 23 with UMass finishing just out of the top 20. The Minutewomen were the top "receiving votes" team, coming in with 98. In the three subsequent polls, including this week, UMass was receiving votes as well.
UMass Picked To Win A-10
The Atlantic 10 Conference announced on Aug. 4 that Massachusetts had been selected to win the 2011 A-10 Championship in voting conducted by the league's head coaches. Under first year head coach Carla Tagliente, the Minutewomen will be looking to repeat as conference champs and win the program's fourth A-10 title in the last five years.
Richmond, the 2009 A-10 champion who combines with UMass for the last 13 A-10 Championships, was picked second. The Minutewomen and Spiders will meet in the final conference game of the season on Oct. 28 at Garber Field.
Temple was picked third in the poll, while Lock Haven, who made it to the conference finals in its first year in the A-10 in 2010, rounds out the top four.
Taking On The Best
UMass will face a tough schedule in 2011. The Minutewomen faces three of the top five teams in the preseason poll, including preseason No. 1 Maryland, who came to Garber Field on Sept. 18. The Minutewomen will face six teams of the top 20 teams in the preseason poll and seven more that received votes, accounting for 13 of the 18 regular season games.
The Minutewomen hit the road for three weeks, playing four contests on the road, all against tough opponents. Sunday, Oct. 2, the Minutewomen head to Syracuse to face the No. 5 Orange at 2 p.m. Both Big East squads will be looking to avenge losses to the Minutewomen in 2010.
UMass opens A-10 play on Oct. 8 and Lock Haven before heading to Albany the following day to face the Great Danes.