Field Hockey

Field Hockey Closes Regular Season At WCU, La Salle

Nikki Panciocco has an assist in the last four games and is tied with teammate Jaime Bourazeris for the conference lead in A-10 games with five assists.

Nikki Panciocco has an assist in the last four games and is tied with teammate Jaime Bourazeris for the conference lead in A-10 games with five assists.

Oct. 28, 2010

AMHERST, Mass. - The regular season comes to a close this weekend for the UMass field hockey team (11-6, 5-0 A-10) as it heads to the Philadelphia area for a pair of Atlantic 10 games. On Friday, the Minutewomen play at West Chester at 3 p.m., and on Sunday they take on La Salle at noon. UMass is 5-0 in conference play and sits alone in first-place, one game ahead of Lock Haven.

UMass comes into the weekend riding a seven-game winning streak, the fourth-longest active winning streak in the country. Rider (9), Ohio State (8), and Maryland (8) are the only schools with longer streaks. The Minutewomen have not lost in over a month, going back to a Sept. 26 loss to Albany. The streak began with an Oct. 3, 2-0 win over No. 8 Syracuse.

Freshman forward Mika Black was named A-10 Co-Rookie of the Week on Tuesday after scoring the first goal of her career on Sunday in a 4-1 win over Saint Joseph's.

UMass at 5-0 in A-10 play sits in first-place and has already clinched a berth in the A-10 Championship to be held Nov. 5-6 at Temple's Geasey Field.

Lock Haven sits in second-place at 4-1, while Richmond, Temple, and Saint Joseph's are in a three-way tie for the final two playoff spots at 3-2. The Owls and Hawks both play at Richmond and host Lock Haven this weekend.

Temple holds the tiebreaker over St. Joe's by winning their regular season meeting.


Highlights vs. St. Joe's

In a pair of home games last weekend, the Minutewomen knocked off Temple 1-0 on Friday and Saint Joseph's 4-1 on Sunday to bring their record to 5-0 in the Atlantic 10.

A late first-half goal by Katie Kelly combined with a suffocating defense was the recipe for success on Friday shut out Temple at Garber Field. The Minutewomen allowed just four shots and just one on goal as they won their sixth-straight game and remain alone atop the Atlantic 10 standings.

The UMass back line of Jaime Bourazeris, Makaela Potts, Hannah Prince, and Thando Zono kept the Owls out of the circle most of the day allowing just four shots and just one on goal. The Minutewomen also held the conference's second-leading scorer, Bridget Settles, to just one shot.

On Sunday's Senior Day, Thando Zono scored twice and Mika Black scored the first goal of her career all in a six-minute span in the first half and Katie Kelly scored on a penalty stroke in the second half to lead a 4-1 victory over Saint Joseph's. With their seventh-straight win, the Minutewomen remain atop the Atlantic 10 standings at 5-0. With the victory, first-place UMass clinched a berth in the Atlantic 10 Championship.

Kelly, the two-year team captain, went out in style in her Garber Field finale, scoring on a penalty stroke with 2:38 left in the game to close the scoring at 4-1. It was her team-leading 10th of the season and gives her three-straight seasons with double-digit goals.



 Senior captain Katie Kelly leads the Minutewomen this season with 10 goals and five assists for 25 points. Her 87 career points is tied with Megan Donnelly (1982-85) for sixth-best all-time at UMass while her 35 goals is now eighth-best all-time, one behind Pam Moryl (1981-84).

Kelly, along with fellow seniors Jaime Bourazeris and Makaela Potts, has potential to impact the career assist rankings at UMass as well. Kelly, a 2009 Atlantic 10 First-Team selection, and Bourazeris each have 17 assists, and could break into the top-10 leaderboard with two assists this weekend. Potts is trailing right behind her teammates with 16 career assists.

Kelly now has double-digit goal totals in three-straight years after 11 each in 2008 and 2009.


 Junior goalkeeper Alesha Widdall is once again among the nation's goalkeeping elite. Her .790 save percentage entering the week ranked eighth nationally while her 1.20 goals against average ranked 12th. She leads the A-10 in save percentage and sits just behind Lock Haven's Erin Terreson in goals against average. As a team, UMass entered the week with the nation's fifth-best save percentage (.794) and ninth-best GAA (1.20).

Widdall ranks third among all active goalies in career save percentage (.780) and sixth in goals against average (1.28). She also ranks seventh in minutes played, coming in as the first non-senior on the list.

The two-time A-10 All-Conference First-Teamer and 2008 All-American has five shutouts on the season and 18 in the junior's career.


 With a freshmen class of 10, many new Minutewomen have stepped in and played leading roles immediately. Four different UMass freshmen have been named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week this season, claiming the award four out of nine weeks.

Forward Lindsay Bowman (Sept. 14), forward Molly MacDonnell (Oct. 5), midfielder Alexa Sikalis (Oct. 12), and Mika Black (Oct. 26) have all won A-10 Rookie of the Week this season.

Also among UMass' talented freshmen making extensive contributions is defender Hannah Prince, who has started every game in the backfield, recording the second-most minutes played on the team (1,212) behind Makaela Potts.


 Senior Makaela Potts has five goals and two assists on the season, scoring four goals in the last six games, 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 (59) and Potts (71) have accounted for 130 of the team's 251 shots (51.8 percent). The next closest to them is Nicole Cordero with 24.

Since returning from an injury on October 15, junior Thando Zono has four goals in her last three games. The transfer from Rhodes University scored both goals against Richmond, including the overtime winner, and netted the first two tallies against Saint Joseph's to spark the Minutewomen.

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.

Among those joining Bowman on UMass' very young forward line are sophomore Nicole Cordero (2 goals, 4 assists), sophomore Kim Young (1 goal), and freshmen Molly MacDonnell (2 goals) and Alexa Sikalis (1 goal, 1 assist). Cordero recorded two assists in the 2-0 win over the No. 8 Orange, while MacDonnell scored her first career goal in that game.

Senior defender Jaime Bourazeris has two goals and a team-leading seven assists on the season, including six helpers in her last six games Her first goal was the game-winner in a 2-1 game at Northeastern and her second was the game-winner in the Minutewomen's 2-0 win over No. 8 Syracuse. 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 54-29 and has twice been named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year (2007-08) and was named Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2008.



 The Minutewomen have a 14-1 record all-time against La Salle in a series that dates back to 1995. UMass has won six in a row over La Salle, dating back to the Explorers lone win in the series, 2-0 in 2003. Under Justine Sowry, UMass is 3-0 against La Salle.

Behind a four-goal outburst by Cher King, No. 19 UMass field hockey defeated La Salle, 6-3 last season on Garber Field. After the Explorers took a quick 1-0 lead, King scored four-straight and freshman Kim Young scored twice. Final shots were 30-11 in favor of the Minutewomen, while UMass also held the edge in penalty corners, 11-6. Alesha Widdall made two saves in goal to get the win in goal, while Emma Ruth made 11 stops for the Explorers.

Going back to their first meeting in 1980, UMass leads the series with West Chester, 16-4-1. The Minutewomen have won five in a row over the Golden Rams, going back to a 2004 win by WCU, 3-2. Under Justine Sowry, UMass is 3-0 and has defeated West Chester by a combined score of 14-1.

Needing a victory to clinch a berth in the Atlantic 10, No. 19 UMass field hockey took control early and poured on the offense on the way to a 6-0 victory over West Chester in 2009 on Garber Field. Kim Young scored just 14 seconds into the game to put the Minutewomen on top and Katie Kelly recorded a hat trick. Makaela Potts and Cher King also added goals for UMass. UMass outshot the Golden Rams, 19-7, while also holding the edge in penalty corners, 8-3.



 After defeating La Salle 3-0 in its conference opener in early October, West Chester has hit a rough patch in its schedule dropping its last five games including four to Atlantic 10 opponents. The Golden Rams have an overall record of 5-11 with a 1-4 record in A-10 play.

The Golden Rams have had a balanced scoring attack during the 2010 campaign, with four players with double-digit points. Leah Angstadt and Nicole Fiorilla each have five goals and two assists on the season, while Kate Zunski and Alisha Moran have four goals and three helpers a piece.

Kristen Arnold has seen most of the action in goal for WCU, compiling a 4-7 record with a 2.44 goals against average and .697 save percentage. Gabby Panasiewicz has seen action in nine games this season with a 2.24 GAA and .714 save percentage.


 The Explorers are tied with West Chester for sixth place in the Atlantic 10 with a 6-11 overall record (1-4 A-10). Riding a three-game losing skid, La Salle will travel to Saint Louis for a matchup with the Billikens on Friday before returning home to host the Minutewomen on Senior Day.

After a freshman season which saw her lead the team with 11 goals and 25 points, 2009 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year winner Rebecca Chylack has returned to once again lead La Salle with six goals and four assists. Chylack was also named a First Team All-Atlantic 10 honoree and Second Team All-Region. Beth Carey and Neelam Kumar are right behind Chylack with four goals and five assists each this season.

Emma Ruth has played every minute in goal for the Explorers this season, posting a 2.64 goals against average and .735 save percentage with one shutout.


 Under Justine Sowry, the Minutewomen are 20-4 in Atlantic 10 regular season games, including a stellar 12-1 mark at Garber Field.

Including A-10 Tournament games, UMass is 24-5 against conference foes under Sowry. All-time, UMass is 94-24-1 (.794) in A-10 regular season games and 28-9 (.757) in tournament games. The Minutewomen have won a conference-best 12 regular season conference titles and 11 tournament championships.


 UMass' aggressive scheduling has paid off as the Minutewomen have come in at the No. 15 spot in the latest NCAA RPI report release on Oct. 11. UMass is the fourth-highest non-BCS conference school in the RPI. The Minutewomen have been 15th in three of the four RPI reports in 2010.

The Minutewomen have defeated two ranked teams in 2010, both top 10 squads from the Big East: No. 4 UConn, 1-0 (Sept. 11), and No. 8 Syracuse, 2-0 (Oct. 3).

Four of UMass' losses have come by one goal and all six have come to teams that were either ranked at the time or are currently ranked (No. 9 Boston College, 1-0; No. 17 Indiana, 2-1; current No. 13 Boston University, 2-1; No. 18 American, 2-0; No. 2 Maryland, 3-0; and No. 19 Albany, 2-1).



Jaime Bourazeris scored in the first half, Molly MacDonnell scored a second-half goal, and Alesha Widdall made 11 saves to lead UMass field hockey (5-6) to a 2-0 victory over No. 8 Syracuse (7-4) on Oct. 3 afternoon at Garber Field. The win comes on Head Coach Justine Sowry's birthday and is the Minutewomen first win over the Orange since 1998, snapping a string of 12 Orange wins in the series.

The win served as a fitting birthday present to Sowry who had been 0-4 against Syracuse coming into the game.

No. 8 Syracuse is the second top 10 ranked Big East team the Minutewomen have upset in 2010. UMass defeated No. 4 Connecticut, 1-0 on Sept. 11, also at Garber Field. Both UMass goals were set up on passes by Nicole Cordero, the first two assists of the sophomore forward's career.

Widdall made a season-high 11 saves in goal and made a spectacular diving stop on a penalty stroke by Syracuse's Martina Loncarica with 2:11 left in the game to keep the shutout. It is the junior's third shutout of the season and 16th of her career.



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.

Eight of UMass' 11 game have been against teams that were ranked at the time of the game or currently are ranked.

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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