Field Hockey

Field Hockey Ranked 17th In National Coaches Poll

UMass' only losses have come against ranked teams and by one goal each.

UMass' only losses have come against ranked teams and by one goal each.

Sept. 30, 2008

AMHERST, Mass. - After starting the season 7-3, the team's best start since the 2000 season, UMass field hockey broke into the rankings this week at No. 17 in the STX/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll. After finishing as the top "others receiving votes" team in three of the four previous weeks of polls this season, second-year head coach Justine Sowry's Minutewomen collected 122 votes in Tuesday's poll. It is the first time UMass has been ranked since the final poll of the 2000 season.

"I am very proud of this team on what they have been able to accomplish in such a short period of time," Sowry said. "They work hard every day to improve themselves as individuals and also as a team. We strive to being the best that we can be and this is a great reward for this group of young women."

UMass is also ranked 17th in the latest poll which came out on Monday. In the first official NCAA RPI rankings of the season, on Sept. 22, the Minutewomen debuted at 14th in the country.

The Minutewomen are coming off a three-game week that saw them go 2-1. Last Tuesday, UMass overcame a 1-0 deficit late to earn a hard-fought 2-1 victory in overtime at Brown. Then came the team's toughest weekend of the season, hosting No. 18 Albany and No. 2 Syracuse at Garber Field.

On Saturday, goals by Katelyn Orlando and Makaela Potts, combined with 11 saves in goal by Alesha Widdall led the Minutewomen to a 2-1 win over the Great Danes.

On Sunday, UMass found itself down to the second-ranked Orange, the nation's only undefeated team, 4-0, at halftime, but made a charge in the second half, outscoring Syracuse 4-1 before running out of time in its comeback bid and falling 5-4. Orlando and Jill Powers scored two goals apiece as the Minutewomen scored more goals against Syracuse then anyone else has this season and it was also just the second time the Orange have played a one-goal game, the other coming at then-No. 1 Maryland, 2-1.



The Minutewomen remain home for two games this weekend. On Saturday UMass hosts Siena and on Sunday Georgetown comes to Garber Field. Both games are slated for noon.

"The team deserves this ranking with the efforts and improvements they have made," Sowry said. "But as we move forward, we still need to take it one game at a time. We really need to take care of this weekend's games and then refocus once the A-10 schedule begins."


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