A-10 Regular Season Title On Line For Field Hockey Friday
The Minutewomen host Richmond on Senior Day on Friday at 1 p.m before closing the regular season Sunday at Providence.
Christine Cutry is one of four seniors that will be honored prior to Friday's game.
Oct. 27, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. -
The UMass field hockey team closes its A-10 and regular season schedules this weekend when it hosts the Richmond Spiders on Friday at 1p.m. before hitting the road to take on the Providence Friars on Sunday at 2 p.m. On Friday, the team will honor the four-member senior class prior to the game.
UMass enters Friday's A-10 finale with a one-game lead in the conference standings and can clinch the regular season title with a win. Temple sits one game back at 4-1, while Richmond is 3-1 with the UMass game Friday and faces La Salle on Sunday.
This year's senior class is one of the winningest in program history with an overall record of 51-31 and 21-3 in the Atlantic 10. Friday's game will air locally on CBS 3 Now.
Richmond is looking to avenge a overtime loss to the Minutewomen in 2010. Providence is also looking to avenge a loss to UMass in 2009.
UMass is 7-9 (5-0 in A-10) on the season while Richmond and Providence are 11-6 (3-1 in A-10) and 4-13 respectively.
Follow The Action
Friday's game can be watched online on UMass All-Access at UMassAthletics.com. It will also be aired live locally on CBS 3 Now.
Sunday's game can be watched online of Providence All-Access at Friars.com.
Free live stats for the game will also be available for both games on GameTracker.
Series History with Richmond
Fridays's game between the Minutewomen and Richmond will be the 19th game between the programs with the Spiders leading, 10-8. Richmond and UMass have combined have won the last 15 Atlantic 10 Championships.
The teams last met on Oct. 17 of last year in Richmond, VA. with the Minutewomen coming away with a 2-1 overtime victory. Thando Zono scored both goals to lead UMass.
After a scoreless first half, Dani Pycroft gave the Spiders the lead in the 42nd minute off a penalty corner, before UMass tied the game just over three minutes later.
Thando Zono's first career goal tied the game 25:03 remaining in regulation off assists by Nikki Panciocco and Jaime Bourazeris, the fifth helper of the year for each of them.
The game-winner came 9:36 into the extra period when Katie Kelly pushed in on a penalty corner to Makaela Potts. Potts then set up the open Zono on the left side for the shot. It was Kelly's fifth assist of the season and the second for Potts.
Richmond is currently 11-6 (3-1 in A-10) on the season This past week they defeated St. Josephs, 6-3 and Radford. 1-0.
The Spiders and Minutewomen share four common opponents so far this year, Lock Haven St. Louis, Temple and St. Josephs. UMass and Richmond both defeated Lock Haven, St. Louis and St. Joseph's. UMass beat Temple in overtime, while Richmond was defeated by Temple in overtime.
Katelin Peterson the team in all categories with 11 goals and eight assists for 30 points. Chelsea Davies is second on the team in points with 23 on eight goals and seven assists, while Rebecca Barry rounds out the top three in points with 20 on nine goals and two assists.
In goal, for the Spiders is Anna Zarkoski. She has recorded a 1.65 goals against average and a .800 save percentage in just over 1093 minutes of play.
Series History with Providence
In a series that goes back to 1982, UMass leads Providence with a 19-7 record against the Friars.
The teams last met on Aug. 29, 2009 in Amherst with the Minutewomen coming away with a 1-0 win. Jill Powers scored off a Cher King assist with 13:40 left in the game to break a scoreless tie.
The Friars controlled the play early on as the young Minutewomen squad, with three freshmen starting, found its footing. Alesha Widdall kept the game scoreless 16:20 into the first half when she made a terrific save on an Ali Shover breakaway. The sophomore All-American goalkeeper would finish with two saves on the day as she recorded the eighth shutout of her career.
With 13:40 left in the game, King, the senior from Barbados stick-handled into the right side of the PC zone and sent a hard pass across the circle where fellow senior Powers tipped the ball high inside the left post for the game winning goal.
Providence is currently 4-13 (1-4 in Big East) on the season. This past week the Friars were defeated by both Louisville and Indiana.
The Friars and Minutewomen share six common opponents so far this year, Northeastern, BC, Iowa, UConn, Syracuse and BU. Both teams were defeated by all six opponents.
The Friars are lead by Daniella Bernasconi who leads the team in points with 10 with 5 goals. Brittany Ross and Henni Tietze are tied for second in points with nine on four goal and one assist and three goals and three assists respectively.
In goal, Shannon DiStefano and Kathi Weidman have each played for the Friars. DiStefano has recorded a 3.30 goals against average and a .736 save percentage. Weidman has recorded a 5.00 goals against average and a .595 save percentage.
UMass 2, Temple 1
Nikki Panciocco scored 6:53 into overtime to give UMass field hockey a 2-1 comeback victory over Temple and move the Minutewomen alone into first place atop the Atlantic 10 standings. By winning the battle of undefeated A-10 teams, UMass claims at least a share of the conference regular season title. Molly MacDonnell scored the tying goal with 3:13 left in regulation to send the game to overtime.
Bridget Settles gave the home team the early lead 9:45 into the first half when scored her conference-leading 16th goal of the season.
After trailing 1-0 for most of the day, MacDonnell took a pass from Sikalis out of a scramble in front of the Temple goal and beat Millen to tie the game and eventually force the extra period.
Panciocco knocked in the game winner off the rebound of an Alexa Sikalis shot that was saved by Temple goalie Lizzy Millen to complete the overtime comeback win for the Minutewomen.
UMass 2, LaSalle 0
Kim Young scored a first-half goal and set up another in the second half to lead UMass field hockey (6-9, 4-0 A-10) to a 2-0 victory over La Salle (6-10, 1-2 A-10) on Friday afternoon at Garber Field. It was the Minutewomen's 14th-straight Atlantic 10 victory and fourth out of their last five games overall.
Young scored what proved to be the game-winner with 20:30 left in the first half off a penalty corner. The junior's fourth goal of the season came off a drag flick with Nikki Panciocco and Christine Cutry picking up their second and third assists of the season, respectively.
Lindsay Bowman added the insurance goal with 13 minutes left when she took a nice pass from Young on a 2-on-1, made a move around Explorers goalie Lisa Shaffer and knocked a shot into the empty goal off the reverse stick, making it 2-0. It was the sophomore's fourth goal of the season, tying her with Young for the team lead. Young's assist was her fifth of the season, giving her a team-high 13 points on the season.
Alesha Widdall made six saves to record her fourth shutout of the season and 25th of the senior All-American's career. She has been impressive as of late, allowing just one goal in the last four games.
UMass 3, St. Louis 1
Three different players scored goals off penalty corners to lead UMass field hockey to a 3-1 victory at Saint Louis on Sunday afternoon that keeps the Minutewomen perfect in Atlantic 10 play at 3-0 and their third win in the last four games. Kim Young, Nikki Panciocco and Lindsay Bowman accounted for the goals while the defense, led by Alesha Widdall's three saves, allowed just eight shot attempts.
Young's drag flick off a penalty corner in the 14th minute put UMass on top 1-0. The junior's third tally of the season was assisted on by Kate Heineman and Panciocco.
Faith Mackin tied it in the 20th minute off a Megan Rogers assist and the game would stay tied 1-1 heading into halftime.
Panciocco's game-winner in the 42nd minute came off a broken corner when she took a pass from Callie Sweigart and beat SLU goalie Megan Ambrose, giving UMass a 2-1 lead.
Bowman added an insurance goal in the 59th minute off a corner assisted on by Sweigart, her second helper of the day, and Christine Cutry. The goal was the sophomore's third of the year. UMass 7, St. Joseph's 0
Six different players scored as UMass' offense erupted in a 7-0 victory over Saint Joseph's in Atlantic 10 field hockey action.
The Minutewomen took control early and never looked back. MacDonnell started the scoring just 1:59 into the game when she tipped in a Sweigart shot off UMass' first penalty corner.
Cordero made it a 2-0 game in the 18th minute when the junior, who was cleared to play before the game after suffering an injury at Albany on Sunday, tallied her third goal of the season on a nice assist from Kim Young.
Bowman gave the Minutewomen a 3-0 lead that they took into halftime when she received a pass from Renee Suter after the freshman stole the ball in the SJU end and fed the sophomore on the 2-on-1 for her second goal of the season.
Cutry's second goal of the season was the first of the second half and made it 4-0 when she streaked down the middle and scored unassisted in the 42nd minute.
MacDonnell struck again in the 50th minute when she knocked in a pass from Lauren Allymohamed, giving UMass a 5-0 lead. The assist was the first of the freshman from England's career.
The English theme continued in the 53rd minute when Sutherland scored off Young's second assist of the game, making it 6-0. It was the sophomore's first career goal.
Sweigart closed the scoring in the 55th minute when she scored on a penalty corner, her third goal of the season, making it 7-0.
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 fourth in save percentage.
With four shutouts this season, she now has 25 for her career.
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 all 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 look to head into the post-season with the Atlantic 10 Championships in Philadelphia , Pa. The semifinals are to be held on November 4 and the championship on November 5.