Minutewomen Head To Temple For A-10 Championship
Nov. 4, 2010
AMHERST, Mass. - The top-seeded UMass field hockey team travels to Philadelphia for the 2010 Atlantic 10 Championship this weekend on Geasey Field. The Minutewomen (13-6-0, 7-0 A-10) are the conference's No. 1 seed in the tournament, and will take on the fourth-seed and host Temple on Friday at 2 p.m. No. 2 seed Lock Haven and No. 3 seed Richmond will battle at 11 a.m. Friday, with the winners squaring off on Saturday at 2 p.m.
UMass comes into the weekend riding a nine-game winning streak, the second-longest active winning streak in the country. Rider (11) currently holds the nation's longest active streak, while Ohio State and Maryland are also in the midst of nine-game winning 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.
IN A-10 CHAMPIONHIP PLAY
The Minutewomen are 28-9 (.757) all-time in A-10 Tournament games, including a 17-3 record in the semifinals and a 11-6 record in the finals.
UMass is 7-3 all-time in A-10 Tournament games vs. Temple, the last being a 2-1 overtime win in the 2005 semifinals. The Minutewomen are 3-4 against Richmond, the last meeting being last year's 2-1 overtime win by the Spiders in the semifinals. This is Lock Haven's first year in the A-10.
Justine Sowry is 4-1 in A-10 tourney games, winning her first four game for A-10 titles in 2007 and 2008 before falling in last year's semifinals to Richmond.
The last time Temple hosted the A-10 Championship was in 2008, UMass' last title. The Minutewomen defeated Saint Joseph's, 3-0 in the semifinals, and beat Richmond, 2-0 in the finals.
EIGHT MINUTEWOMEN NAMED TO A-10 ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
After securing the top-seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament and 7-0 record in conference play, eight Minutewomen were named to the All-Conference teams, as announced by the A-10 on Thursday. Makaela Potts was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, and was also named to the A-10 First Team along with Jaime Bourazeris, Katie Kelly and Alesha Widdall. Kelly and Widdall were also named to the All-Academic team. In her first season with UMass, junior Thando Zono was named to the Second Team.
2010 marks the second straight year that Kelly has been named to the Atlantic 10 First Team, while Widdall has earned First Team honors during each of her three years at UMass.
Head Coach Justine Sowry was also honored by the conference as the 2010 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year. This is the third time that Sowry has been named as the league's top coach. She also received the award in 2007 and 2008, her first two years with the Minutewomen.
ATLANTIC 10 PLAY
Including A-10 Tournament games, UMass is 26-5 against conference foes under Sowry. All-time, UMass is 96-24-1 (.798) in A-10 regular season games and 28-9 (.757) in tournament games. The Minutewomen have won a conference-best 13 regular season conference titles and 11 tournament championships.
BRING ON THE OWLS
Earlier this season, a late first-half goal by Katie Kelly combined with a suffocating defense was the recipe for success on Friday afternoon as UMass field hockey (10-6, 4-0 A-10) shut out Temple (7-10, 2-2 A-10), 1-0 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.
Kelly broke the scoreless tie with 4:51 left in the first half when she took a Nikki Panciocco crossing pass five yards in front of the net and flicked a shot past Temple goalie Sarah Dalrymple. It was the senior captain's team-leading ninth goal of the season and gave UMass the lead going into halftime. Panciocco's assist was the team-leading sixth of the year for the junior midfielder.
Alesha Widdall made just one save to earn her fifth shutout of the season and 18th of her career, but it was a spectacular one, coming out of the goal to stuff Katie Briglia on a Temple break.
UMass controlled play for much of the opening half, racking up 11 shots to Temple's three, and continued that throughout the second half, finishing the game with a 19-4 shot advantage and a 7-1 edge in penalty corners.
LAST TIME OUT
Kim Young, Thando Zono, and Lindsay Bowman each scored a goal with Katie Kelly assisting on two of them to lead UMass field hockey to a 3-0 victory over West Chester on Friday afternoon at Vonnie Gros Field.
Alesha Widdall made four saves in goal to record her sixth shutout of the season and the 19th of the junior's career. Young started the scoring just 8:33 into the game for the sophomore's first tally of the season. The Minutewomen would continue to lead 1-0 until 8:47 into the second half when Zono scored her fifth goal of the season, all coming in the last four games. Kelly registered the assist as UMass took a 2-0 lead. Bowman closed the scoring in the 55th minute when the freshman converted off a Kelly pass for her third of the season. The assist was the senior captain Kelly's seventh of the season and runs her team-leading point total to 27 on the season.
Thando Zono and Katie Kelly scored goals to lead the Minutewomen to a 2-1 victory over La Salle on Sunday at DeVincent Field on the final day of the regular season to clinch the Minutewomen the Atlantic 10 regular season crown and the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 Championship. The win was UMass' ninth in a row.
Kelly tallied her fifth game-winning goal of the season and team-leading 11th goal overall with 19:13 left in the game when she scored off a rebound to break a 1-1 tie. It was the 36th goal of the senior captain's career as she has 11 goals for three-straight seasons. Zono put UMass on the board just over 16 minutes into the game when the junior transfer scored her sixth goal of the season, all coming in the last five games and against conference foes.
KELLY MAKING MARK ON UMASS RECORD BOOK
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, has 19 assists, tied for tenth all-time with O'Neil. Bourazeris has 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.
THE WIDDALL WALL
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 three-time A-10 All-Conference First-Teamer and 2008 All-American has six shutouts on the season and 19 in the junior's career.
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.
Kelly (66) and Potts (77) have accounted for 143 of the team's 287 shots (49.8 percent). The next closest to them is Nicole Cordero with 24.
Since returning from an injury on October 15, junior Thando Zono has six goals in her last five 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 (2 goals), 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. 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 56-29 and has been named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year three times (2007, 2008 and 2010) and was named Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2008.
UMASS TAKING ON THE BEST
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).
UMASS SHUTS OUT THE ORANGE
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.
MINUTEWOMEN UPSET NO. 4 UCONN
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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