Field Hockey 2013 Season-In-Review
Dec. 28, 2013
Massachusetts Field Hockey Season Recap
The season was highlighted by a 12-game winning streak that saw the Minutewomen roll through non-conference play undefeated, beat VCU and Richmond for the Atlantic 10 Title and down No. 7 Virginia, 4-3 in overtime to reach the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals. During the win streak, UMass outscored its foes, 52-14 while the run of success marks the longest stretch of consecutive victories achieved by the program since the 1993 squad won 13-straight en route to an Atlantic 10 Title and NCAA Tournament berth.
Numerous Minutewomen were honored as a result of the team's overall success during the campaign. Lauren Allymohamed and Alexa Sikalis were each awarded NFHCA All-America status, with Allymohamed adding Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year, First Team NFHCA All-Region and Atlantic 10 First Team All-Conference to the trophy case. Sikalis was also recognized as a first team honoree by the NFHCA on its all-region listing and the Atlantic 10 through its all-conference awards.
Hannah Prince and Brooke Sabia joined Allymohamed and Sikalis on the Atlantic 10 All-Conference and NFHCA All-Region first teams while Sabia took home the A-10 Offensive Player of the Year. Teammates Sam Carlino and Charlotte Verelst were honored by the NFHCA with second team all-region laurels, while Verelst was also named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year and an A-10 Second Team All-Conference awardwinner. Tagliente rounded out the major award recipients on the squad as she was chosen as the Atlantic 10 and NFHCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year, the second straight season she took in both laurels.
The Minutewomen began the season with five consecutive victories, including winning the University of Maine Invitational to start the year with a 2-1 decision over the host-Black Bears before a 3-2 come-from-behind victory against No. 9 nationally-ranked Michigan. After securing the Kennedy Cup with a 6-0 shutout of UMass-Lowell, the Maroon and White blanked Harvard, 3-0 and held off No. 19 Boston College with a 4-2 victory to improve to 5-0 on the young season.
UMass suffered its first loss the following weekend as it dropped a 2-1 game to host-Syracuse, the No. 7 team in the nation at the time. After a bounce-back win over Ohio State, 1-0, the Minutewomen fell at eventual NCAA National Champion UConn, 4-1. The up-and-down play by the squad continued as Massachusetts dispatched Hofstra, 5-1 before suffering its only loss after leading on the season, a 3-2 defeat by New Hampshire in overtime.
Another challenge in No. 2 Maryland followed as the Minutewomen faltered, 4-1 on Sept. 28 in what became their final regular season loss of the year. Approaching its conference slate, UMass amped up its offense and finished the regular season with eight consecutive victories.
Richmond offered the strongest challenge to the Minutewomen during A-10 play as each side entered the Oct. 25 matchup undefeated. With control of the top spot in the conference on the line, UMass used penalty shots following double-overtime to claim the victory, 2-1. The Maroon and White went on the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament with victories over VCU and Lock Haven while Massachusetts needed to overcome a two-goal deficit at Saint Francis to win, 4-3 in overtime to secure its undefeated A-10 record.
With the No. 1 seed to the Atlantic 10 Tournament in-hand, UMass opened against fourth-seed VCU and required an Allymohamed goal in the 91st minute to record the victory and advance to the championship game. The Maroon and White added a second victory over Richmond, 2-1 in the tournament finale to claim the title and out-right berth into the NCAA Tournament.
The Minutewomen drew No. 7 Virginia for the first round in a contest played at Duke University. The resiliency exhibited throughout the season was on display against the Cavaliers as UMass rallied from a trio of one-goal deficits to drop Virginia, 4-3 in overtime.
After Lindsay Bowman evened the game at 2-2, Riley Tata found the back of the cage for the Cavaliers with only eight minutes, 32 second left in regulation. The Minutewomen fought for the equalizer continuously until Renee Suter netted a clutch goal with only 68 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. After nearly 11 minutes of extra time, Verelst fired in UMass' fourth goal of the day to send the Minutewomen to the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals.
One day after the exhilarating win, Massachusetts' season came to a close against the host-Blue Devils as the Minutewomen fell to the eventual NCAA National Championship runners-up, 4-1 on their home turf. Brooke Sabia notched her 20th goal of the season during the finale to cut a two-goal deficit in half; however, No. 5 Duke's offense responded with back-to-back goals to seal its win.
Tagliente Chosen As NFHCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year
In her third year as the program leader, Tagliente coached the Minutewomen to 19 victories - tied for the second most in UMass field hockey history - and their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals since the 2000 season. Tagliente was also named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year in 2013 for the second consecutive campaign.
Sikalis Picked As UMass Female Fall Scholar-Athlete
Another award in an overflowing trophy case this season, Sikalis has also been tabbed NFHCA Second Team All-America and First Team All-Region in addition to being selected to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team and All-Academic Team.
NFHCA Recognizes UMass Duo With All-America Honors
The pair of all-America honors mark the 53rd and 54th issued to the Massachusetts field hockey team in the history of the program. Thando Zono was the lone Minutewoman chosen following the 2012 campaign, giving head coach Carla Tagliente three honorees in as many seasons leading the squad.
Field Hockey Records Six NFHCA All-Region Selections
The six selections make UMass the most lauded program in the Atlantic 10. Richmond picked up three all-region honorees, Lock Haven took in two and La Salle and Saint Francis (Pa.) had one each.
UMass Wins 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship
In the championship game, UMass fought past Richmond for the second straight season, this time on the strength of goals by Hannah Prince and Izzie Delario. Alexa Sikalis earned one assist along with Cliodhna Loughlin and Delario, who finished with three points on the game. After UMass scored twice the Spiders tallied their lone goal in the 17th minute; however, the Minutewomen defense stepped up to hold Richmond scoreless over the remainder of regulation to seal the win.
Lauren Allymohamed provided a veteran touch on offense and defense in the semifinal victory over VCU, a 1-0 decision in double-overtime. Massachusetts controlled play for much of the contest to register a 34-4 advantage in total shots and 20-0 lead in on-target attempts. With 13-of-the-14 penalty corners taken during the game going to UMass, Allymohamed used the squad's final chance of the day to send the team away from Garber Field victorious, doing so on an insert from Prince at 90:44.
Minutewomen Sweep Major Atlantic 10 Year-End Awards
Four Minutewomen were chosen for the A-10 First Team All-Conference listing, with Hannah Prince and Alexa Sikalis joining Allymohamed and Sabia in earning the honor. Verelst was placed on the second team and all-rookie squad. Sikalis also earned Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team status alongside teammate Sam Carlino.
UMass Ranked No. 10 In Final NFHCA Poll
Maryland ranks first followed by Syracuse, North Carolina, Connecticut, Duke and Old Dominion. Virginia holds seventh nationally with Princeton landing in eighth and Penn State holding ninth. Behind the Minutewomen sits Stanford in 12th, Wake Forest (13), Delaware (14) and Louisville to round out the top-15.
The Minutewomen spent each week on the 2013 regular season among the top-20 teams in the nation. UMass was slotted 14th in the preseason release and jumped to seventh overall following a successful start to the year. After slipping to 13th in the Oct. 1 release, Massachusetts moved between 10th, 11th and 12th during the rest of the year. With the Nov. 12 standings, the most recent and final of the 2013 campaign, the Minutewomen hold 10th in the nation.
Owning The State
The Maroon and White started against UMass-Lowell with a 6-0 victory during the inaugural Kennedy Cup and followed with a shutout of Harvard, 3-0. UMass added victories over Boston College, 4-2; Northeastern, 2-0 and Boston University, 3-1 to complete the series.
Brooke Sabia secured 10 points on five goals against Massachusetts-based institutions while Molly MacDonnell and Alexa Sikalis added six points apiece, with MacDonnell providing three tallies and Sikalis notching one mark and four assists.