Minutewomen Take On Albany At Rudd Wednesday
UMass will be in search of its first win of the season against the Great Danes.
Sept. 8, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. -
The UMass women's soccer team will play its second match in a two-game homestand this Wednesday when the Minutewomen will take on Albany at 4:30 p.m. on Rudd Field. UMass enters the contest in search of its first victory of the season, while the Great Danes, who sit a 1-3-0, will be looking for their second win in the past three games.
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UMass-Albany Series History
The Minutewomen hold a perfect 4-0 record in the all-time series.
Current junior Therese Smith scored both goals in UMass' 2-1 victory in Albany last season and was named the Atlantic 10 player of the week following that performance. Smith's second tally versus the Great Danes was assisted by current assistant coach Vanessa Patry.
The last time the teams met was at Rudd Field in 2006 when UMass came out on top 1-0 in overtime.
The Minutewomen easily won the first two meetings between the schools, 6-0 on Sept. 1, 1999 and 9-0 on Sept. 2, 2000.
Across all sports, it marks the first of four matchups scheduled between the two schools. The UMass football team will play the Great Danes in its home opener this Saturday, Sept. 12, at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Field hockey will play at Albany on Friday, Sept. 11, at 2:30 p.m., while women's tennis will travel to Albany on Oct. 19.
America East Flavor
Albany is one of four teams from the America East conference that UMass will face before beginning Atlantic 10 play on Sept. 20 vs. St. Joseph's.
UMass' next three straight games will be against America East squads: Albany, New Hampshire (Sept. 13) and Hartford (Sept. 17). The Minutewomen fell in its first matchup against an AE opponent, 2-0 to Boston University on Aug. 30.
Two members of the UMass coaching staff have previously been assistants at America East institutions. Angela Napoli spent the 2004 season as an assistant coach for Albany, while John Conlon was an assistant coach at his alma mater, New Hampshire, from 2005 to 2008.
The Great Danes come into the match with a 1-3 record, including a 2-0 win over Iona.
Three different players have scored one goal apiece for Albany: Ashley Tirabassi, Maggie DeVerna and Makenzie Baratta. Nicole Berard, Despina Psomopoulos and Chelsea DeVerna have one assist apiece.
Cate Crenson and Breanna Maggio have split time in net through the first four games of the season for the Great Danes, each starting two. Crenson has appeared in net three times, playing a total of 225 minutes and holds a 0.80 goals against average and a .909 save percentage. Maggio has appeared in two games with two starts for 135 minutes and holds a 1.33 goals against average and a .846 save percentage.
New Look Lineup
The Minutewomen's starting lineup in the season opener featured just four players who started five games or more in 2008: Ashley Hamel, Lauren Luckey, Katie Ruggles and Therese Smith.
Two of the remaining seven, Sydney Stoll and Meghan Gould, returned to the lineup after missing all of 2008 with injuries. In her first two seasons with the Minutewomen, Stoll played in 28 games with 18 starts and totaled 18 points on seven goals and four assists. Gould started 13 of 14 games she appeared in as a sophomore in 2007.
Freshmen Meredith Fox and Jess Howe both made their first collegiate starts on Aug. 28 at Holy Cross. Sophomore Lauren Yelinek, who is in her first season with the Minutewomen, also made her UMass debut as a member of the starting lineup in that contest.
Changing Of The Guard
After long-time head coach Jim Rudy announced his retirement in late may after 21 seasons at the helm for the Minutewomen, Angela Napoli was appointed as head coach on July 21.
Napoli, a 2000 UMass graduate and native of nearby Longmeadow, takes over after spending for season as an assistant coach on Rudy's staff. In her four previous seasons as an assistant, the Minutewomen have compiled a 34-30-6 record, including an 11-6 mark in 2006.
A four-year letterwinner in goal for the Minutewomen (1996-1999), Napoli played in 35 career games (starting 27) and posted a 1.38 goals against average. Currently, she ranks seventh all-time in the UMass record book in career shutouts (13) and saves (159).
UMass returns six starters from the 2008 squad, including seniors Lauren Luckey and Katie Ruggles, juniors Kelsey Anderson, Therese Smith and Alyssa Visconti, and sophomore Meghan Collins.
Luckey played every minute of all 18 games last season and posted a 1.05 goals against average while also recording five shutouts.
Smith, who started 17 contests last season, finished her sophomore campaign second on the team in points with eight (three goals, two assists) and is the top returning scorer for UMass. She had two game-winning goals and trailed only Vanessa Patry (13 points) in point production. Patry is back with the Minutewomen, but in a new role as an assistant coach.
Close To Home
Nearly 60 percent of the UMass roster is made up of players from Massachusetts.
A total of 13 players hail from the Bay State, while four come from Pennsylvania, two are from New York, with one each from Connecticut, New Jersey and Tennessee.
There are six new additions for the Minutewomen in 2009, five freshman and one sophomore transfer. Emily Cota (Green Lane, Pa.), Marissa Dos Santos (Ludlow, Mass.), Meredith Fox (Chalfont, Pa.), Jenna Goodwin (Weymouth, Mass.) and Jess Howe (Wilbraham, Mass.) are the five members of the freshman class.
Lauren Yelinek, a native of Ludlow, transferred closer to home after spending her freshman season at Texas Tech. Yelinek played in 13 matches for the Red Raiders in 2008 and tallied six assists, which tied for fifth-most in Texas Tech history for a single season.
Cota, who was tabbed a top-100 recruit by TopDrawerSoccer.com, was named to the Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Rookie Team. She made her collegiate debut on Aug. 30 against Boston University and played a scoreless second half, making one save.
Cause for Celebration
Six players on the UMass rosters have in-season birthdays: Sydney Stoll (Sept. 16), Katie Ruggles (Sept. 17), Jess Howe (Oct. 1), Rachel Miranda (Oct. 21), Meghan Collins (Oct. 27) and Meghan Gould (Nov. 1).
Ruggles' and Gould's birthdays fall on game days this year (at Hartford and vs. Richmond).
UMass will play at New Hampshire on Sept. 13 at 2 p.m.
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