Women's Soccer

Women's Soccer Set For Non-Conference Finale Sunday

Freshman Jess Howe.

Freshman Jess Howe.

Sept. 18, 2009

AMHERST, Mass. - Unbeaten in its last two games, the UMass women's soccer will look to keep the momentum going on Sunday, Sept. 20, when the squad will host Saint Peter's in its final match before beginning Atlantic 10 play next week. The Minutewomen will take on the Peahens at 3:30 p.m., the second half of a UMass soccer doubleheader at Rudd Field as the men's squad will play an exhibition game against Winstars Academy at 1 p.m.

Game Coverage

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    Scouting Saint Peter's

  • The Peahens, who play at Bryant on Friday evening, enter the weekend with a record of 2-4-0 with wins over Wagner (2-0) and NJIT (1-0).
  • Five players have combined for the squad's six goals, led by Courtney Sundstrom with two for a team-best four points.
  • Leigha Ashmen and Caitlin Hoffer have split time in net, each playing in four games with three starts apiece. Ashmen holds a 1.27 goals against average and a .733 save percentage and has a record of 0-2-0. Hoffer is 2-2-0 with a 2.11 GAA and a .750 save percentage.
  • This will mark the first ever meeting between Saint Peter's and UMass. The Minutewomen have a 5-2-0 all time record against MAAC teams.

    Scoreless Tie Tidbits

  • The 0-0 tie vs. New Hampshire on Sept. 13 was the third scoreless draw in the past two seasons for the Minutewomen.
  • In total, the program has logged 12 scoreless ties all-time: 2009, 2008 (2), 1995, 1993 (2), 1989, 1988, 1983 (3), 1980.

    More On OT

  • For the first time in school history, the Minutewomen have played three straight double overtime games and have gone 0-1-2 in those contests. In 2008 and 2007, the squad played five-consecutive overtime games (third game in that stretch was a single OT) spanning the final two games of 2007 and the first three of 2008, which were by far and away the most in school history. There had never been more than two consecutive overtime games.
  • Last season, UMass set a program record with six overtime games, all coming in the first nine matches of the 2008 schedule. The previous program high was four in 2007.


    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. Fox, Howe and Yelinek have started all six matches thus far.

    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 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).

    Welcome Back

  • 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 in 2008, 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.

    New Faces

  • 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).
  • Ruggles scored the game-tying goal against Hartford on her 21st birthday as UMass came from behind in a 1-1 draw with the Hawks.

    Next Up

  • UMass will next play host to Saint Joseph's on Friday, Sept. 25, at 4 p.m. in the squad's A-10 opener.

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