Field Hockey

Field Hockey Hosts #8 Syracuse On Sunday

Oct. 1, 2010

UMass (4-6) vs. #8 Syracuse (6-3)

Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010, 2 PM
Garber Field, Amherst, Mass.
TV: CBS 3 Now
Streaming Video: UMass All-Access
Live Stats: GameTracker

AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass field hockey team (4-6) hosts its third game in a four-game homestand on Sunday when No. 8 Syracuse (6-3) comes to town for a 2 p.m. game at Garber Field. The Orange will be the fourth ranked team the Minutewomen have faced in their last five games. The game is being televised live on CBS 3 Now (Comcast 293 in Western Mass.).

The Minutewomen are coming off a 1-1 weekend at home, defeating Vermont, 2-0, before falling to No. 19 Albany, 1-0, in a hard-fought game.

UMass and CBS3 Springfield have reached an agreement where 100 UMass sporting events in the 2010-11 season will air live on CBS 3 Now starting this August. The channel can be seen on Comcast Digital Cable channel 293 in Western Massachusetts and will soon air on both Charter and Time Warner cable systems.

Sunday's game against Syracuse will air live on CBS 3 Now with Adam Frenier on the call. Remaining televised games also include Oct. 9 vs. Saint Louis, Oct. 15 vs. Lock Haven, and Oct. 24 vs. Saint Joseph's.

As always, UMass field hockey's home games will also be webcast on UMass All-Access, while free live stats will be available online via GameTracker.

Check or CBS3 for up-to-date broadcast schedules of UMass games.

Junior goalkeeper Alesha Widdall is off to another strong start to a season. Her .785 save percentage currently ranks 10th nationally while her 1.38 goals against average ranks 18th.

Widdall ranks fourth among all active goalies in career save percentage (.779) and seventh in goals against average (1.33). She also ranks seventh in minutes played, coming in as the first non-senior on the list.

Senior captain Katie Kelly has been the driving force for the Minutewomen this season. The Dedham, Mass. native leads the team in goals (6) and points (12). Her six goals account for 60 percent of the team's scoring this season. Her biggest goal of 2010 was when she scored the overtime game-winner at Yale on Sept. 19.



Senior Makaela Potts has one goal and one assist on the season, but the two-time NFHCA All-American's true value isn't measured on the stat sheet. A key component on both the offensive and defensive corner units, Potts is also relied upon to be UMass' primary ball-mover and playmaker from the back and midfield lines.

Kelly (35) and Potts (28) have accounted for 63 of 119 shots. The next closest to them is Nicole Cordero with 12.

Freshman forward Lindsay Bowman scored the first two goals of her career on Sept.11-12, and they were big ones. On Sept. 11, she scored the game's lone goal in the 1-0 victory over No. 4 UConn. On the following day, she scored the game-tying goal with 6:04 remaining before UMass eventually won in overtime at Yale. Bowman was named A-10 Rookie of the Week and UMass Co-Athlete of the Week with football quarterback Kyle Havens.

Senior defender Jaime Bourazeris has one goal and one assist on the season. Her goal was the game-winner in a 2-1 game at Northeastern.

UMass returns nine starters from the 2009 team. Head Coach Justine Sowry also welcomes 11 new players in 2010, 10 freshmen and one transfer.

Sowry, in her fourth year as head coach, has a career record of 47-29 and has twice been named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year (2007-08) and was named Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2008.

UMass is 5-14-1 against Syracuse in a series that dates back to 1986. The Orange has won 12 straight in the series, dating back to 1999.

The last time the teams met, exactly one year ago, was on Oct. 3, 2009 when after falling behind, 3-0 early in the second half, No. 9 UMass rallied with two goals late in the first half, but eventually fell to No. 6 Syracuse, 5-2, at Coyne Field. Christine Cutry and Jill Powers scored the UMass goals.

The Minutewomen and Orange met twice in 2008 in what were two highly-contested close games. After being outscored, 4-0 in the first half, UMass rallied to outscore No. 2 Syracuse, 4-1, in the second half, but the comeback fell short as Syracuse won, 5-3 on Sept. 28, 2008 in what was the last time the teams played at Garber Field. UMass' 2008 season came to an end at Syracuse on Nov. 15 as No. 17 UMass scored first but fell to the No. 3 Orange, 3-2.

The Orange come into the weekend 6-3 on the season and ranked No. 8 in this week's Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll. Syracuse logged convincing wins over Northwestern (6-1) and Northeastern (4-1) on the opening weekend of the season and followed that with a pair of overtime games, winning at No. 14 Ohio State (2-1) and losing to Kent State (2-1). The Orange have since beaten No. 17 Old Dominion (3-1), lost in overtime to No. 3 Virginia (2-1), won its Big East opener at Rutgers (5-1), fell in a close game at No. 4 Princeton (1-0), and beat No. 10 Louisville in overtime (4-3).

The Orange offense is led by the one-two punch of senior foraward Lindsey Conrad and junior midfielder Martina Loncarica.

Conrad ranks third among all active Division I players in points (150) and goals (63). She leads the Orange with six goals this season. An All-American the last two years, the fifth-year senior was A-10 Rookie of the Year at Richmond in 2006 before transferring.

Loncarica, despite being just a junior, is second among active players in career assists (52), and has four goals and four helpers in 2010. The Argentine was named All-American her first two years.

Leonie Geyer is another player to watch. The freshman from Germany has three goals on the season and recorded six assists in her collegiate debut against Northwestern.

Sophomore Leann Stiver is the starting goalkeeper. She sports a 1.39 goals against average and a .755 save percentage.

Syracuse has been given 15 green cards and nine yellow cards in nine games.

Ange Bradley is in her fourth season as head coach of the Orange. No stranger to UMass, she was head coach at Richmond for six seasons (2001-06), winning five A-10 Championships.

Seniors Katie Kelly and Makaela Potts each recorded a goal to lead UMass field hockey (4-5) to a 2-0 victory over Vermont (4-5) under the lights at Garber Field on Friday night. The Minutewomen dominated throughout the contest, outshooting the Catamounts, 29-4, and drawing 13 penalty corners to Vermont's three.

The 29 shots were a season-high for the Minutewomen with Kelly and Potts leading the way with eight and seven, respectively.

Vermont goalie Brooke Crane was under pressure the whole game, but performed well, logging 12 saves.

Alesha Widdall recorded two saves to earn the shutout, her second of the season and 15th of the junior's career.

Christina Patrick scored in the 54th minute to give No. 19 Albany (7-2) a 1-0 victory over UMass (4-6) in field hockey action at Garber Field on Sunday afternoon. The Minutewomen held a 13-11 shot advantage in a hard-fought game that featured six cards, five of which were issued to Great Danes players and three being yellow.

The Minutewomen controlled the play in most of the first half, holding a 7-3 shot advantage and a 4-0 edge in penalty corners. UMass played the final 1:56 of the first half and first 8:04 of the second half with a player advantage after a yellow card was issued to Albany's Patrick, with a green card coming to the Great Dane's bench at the same time.

The Great Danes managed to kill off those 10 minutes and swung the momentum their way midway through the second half. After earning their first two penalty corners of the game, Albany scored the game's lone goal with 16:38 to go when Nina Walters sent a ball into the circle from the right of the circle on a quick restart that was tipped in from in front of the goal by Patrick for her eighth goal of the year.

UMass completed a stretch of four out of five games against defending conference champions for the Minutewomen between Sept. 5 and Sept. 19. After falling 2-1 at America East champion Boston University three weekends ago, the Minutewomen defeated the Big East champion Huskies on Sept. 11, 1-0. The No. 20 Minutewomen fell at No. 18 American, 2-0, and at No. 2 Maryland, 3-0, the following weekend.

The first NCAA RPI report was issued last week and UMass' aggressive scheduling paid off as the Minutewomen came in at the No. 15 spot.

The Minutewomen host more elite competition as Syracuse marks the fourth game out of the last five that they face a ranked opponent.

Three of UMass' losses have come by one goal and all five have come to teams that were either ranked at the time or are currently ranked. On the opening weekend of the season, No. 9 Boston College and No. 17 Indiana slipped by the Minutewomen, 1-0 and 2-1, respectively. After defeating Northeastern, who is receiving votes, 2-1, UMass fell at currently No. 12 Boston University, 2-1. After knocking off No. 4 UConn and Yale, UMass fell at No. 18 American and No. 2 Maryland.

Lindsay Bowman scored the first goal of her career off a pass from fellow freshman Mika Black to lead UMass to the upset victory over No. 4 UConn, 1-0, on Sept. 11 at Garber Field.

It was the Minutewomen's first victory over the Huskies since 2000, a span of 11 games. It is also the highest ranked opponent UMass has defeated in the Justine Sowry era, replacing last season's win over No. 9 Iowa.

UMass last defeated UConn on Sept. 30, 2000, 2-1, in Amherst. The Huskies had won the last 10 meetings.

The win was also the highest-ranked opponent UMass has beaten in 14 years, dating back to a 3-2 double-overtime victory over No. 4 James Madison on Sept. 14, 1996 in Iowa City, Iowa.

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