Minutewomen Kick Off A-10 Play With Dayton, Xavier
Friday's game versus the Flyers is a rematch of the 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship.
Freshman Mikayla Williams.
Sept. 27, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. -
The UMass women's soccer team will kick off its Atlantic 10 schedule this weekend at home on Rudd Field with a pair of opponents from Ohio, hosting Dayton on Friday, Sept. 28, and Xavier on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 4 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. Friday's contest against the Flyers features a rematch of the 2011 A-10 Championship game.
Dayton comes into the weekend with a record of 6-3-0 and has won three in a row, scoring three goals in each of the matches. The Flyers' losses have come at Texas (3-2 in OT) and vs. Central Michigan (4-2) and DePaul (2-1 in OT).
Colleen Williams and Juliana Libertin lead Dayton's high-powered offense with 20 (7g, 6a) and 19 (7g, 5a), respectively. The duo ranks 1-2 in the Atlantic 10 in points and are tied for the conference lead in goals.
Jordin Melchert has seen the bulk of the action in goal for the Flyers and holds a 1.49 goals-against average and a .750 save percentage in seven matches and is 5-1-0 on the year.
Xavier heads to Amherst, Mass., with a record of 6-4-1 and is unbeaten in six of its past seven matches. The Musketeers are coming off a 1-0 shutout of Rhode Island to open Atlantic 10 Conference play.
Mariah Whitaker has provided the bulk of Xavier's offense to date, scoring three goals and adding three assists for nine points. Catherine Allon, who earned the game-winner against Rhode Island, follows with six points on two goals and a pair of assists.
Katie Markesbery has started all 11 matches in net for the Musketeers and holds a 1.43 goals-against average and a .805 save percentage in 1,006 minutes of play.
Against The Flyers & The Musketeers
UMass is 4-13 all-time against Dayton since the programs first met in 1996. The teams did not face each other during the regular season last fall, but squared off in the Atlantic 10 Championship match. Dayton came away with a 5-1 win in that contest. The Minutewomen's last victory over the Flyers came in Dayton's last visit to Rudd Field, a 1-0 win for UMass on Oct. 12, 2008.
Against Xavier, the Minutewomen hold an all-time record of 11-5-1 and have won seven of the past eight meetings. UMass last faced the Musketeers on Oct. 8, 2010, a 3-0 victory for the Minutewomen in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In The Atlantic 10
UMass is 106-67-7 (.608) all-time in Atlantic 10 matches and posted its highest conference wins total in 10 years last season with a record of 6-2-1.
Where They Stack Up Nationally
Out of 330 Division I women's soccer programs in the nation, UMass ranks eighth as a team in save percentage (.896).
Moa Mattsson is 24th nationally in game winning goals with three.
Minutewomen Among The A-10 Leaders
Goalkeeper Emily Cota leads the Atlantic 10 in goals-against average (0.25), save percentage (.963) and shutouts per-game (0.75). She is tied for second in shutouts with three.
Goalkeeper Stephanie Gordon is first in the Atlantic 10 in saves per-game (9.83) and is second in total saves with 59.
Moa Mattsson is tied for second in game-winning goals (3), fifth in goals (5), sixth in goals per-game (0.50), eighth in points (11) and points per-game (1.10).
Five different players have combined for UMass' nine goals on the season. Four of the five have one goal apiece, all which were first career tallies.
Having already surpassed her freshman year total of six points, sophomore Moa Mattsson currently leads the Minutewomen in scoring through 10 matches with 11 points and tallied her first of the season in a 2-1 loss to #6 UCLA in the teams' season opener.
Last Time Out
The UMass women's soccer team wrapped up its non-conference schedule on Sept. 23 with a 1-0 win over Siena at Rudd Field for the squad's third victory in the past four contests.
Following a corner kick in the 64th minute, senior Jess Howe served the ball back into the box after an attempted clear by the Saints, finding the feet of sophomore Alyssa D'Arcy. D'Arcy tapped the ball over to sophomore Moa Mattsson, who chipped it past Booth for her fifth tally on the year.
Senior Emily Cota collected five saves en route to her third shutout of the season and 19th of her career.
UMass out-shot Siena 14-12 in the contest. Corner kicks were even at four apiece, while fouls were 12-9 against the Minutewomen.
Cota Collects Multiple Weekly Awards
UMass senior goalkeeper Emily Cota collected multiple weekly awards following her performance against Boston University and New Hampshire. She was tabbed Atlantic 10 and UMass Athlete of the Week and was named to the CollegeSoccer360.com Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll for Division I Women's Soccer.
Seeing her first action of the 2012 season, Cota posted back-to-back shutouts to help the Minutewomen to a pair of wins and made a total of 14 saves, seven in each contest at Boston University and vs. New Hampshire. The Minutewomen defeated the Terriers, 1-0, and followed up with a 2-0 win over the Wildcats.
The shutouts were Cota's 17th and 18th of her UMass career, moving her within one of the No. 5 all-time mark in program history.
Mattsson Named UMass Athlete Of The Week
Sophomore Moa Mattsson was named the UMass Athlete of the Week on Aug. 27, becoming the first Minutewoman to earn a weekly award this season.
Mattsson scored two goals, including the game-winner in UMass' first victory of 2012, at Bryant on Aug. 22. The first of her two tallies, which came just 93 seconds apart, was a beautiful strike from 35 yards out to help down the Bulldogs, 3-2.
Youth Is Served
Eight of UMass' 11 starters against UCLA in the season opener were either first or second-year players for the Minutewomen. Four of the eight--Rebecca Sverrisdóttir, Madison Smith, Jen Coppola and Georgia Gibson --are true freshmen.
Freshman Jackie Bruno also saw her first collegiate action, playing 14 minutes as a reserve.
A Formidable Schedule
In its first seven matches to open the 2012 season, UMass faced five teams that either earned rankings or received votes in the NSCAA Preseason Poll.
The Minutewomen began with #6 UCLA and hosted (RV) Harvard on Aug. 31.
UMass faced preseason-ranked #3 Wake Forest and #22 Virginia Tech in Winston Salem on the weekend of Sept. 7-9 and defeated preseason #23 Boston University on Sept. 14.
Three of UMass' five setbacks thus far have come against ranked foes, two of the three were by one-goal margins (2-1 vs. #6 UCLA and 1-0 vs. #17 Wake Forest).
UCLA, currently ranked #3 in the latest poll, remains undefeated at 7-0-2. UMass is one of two teams to score against the Bruins as the squad has allowed two goals through nine matches.
Cota, enters her final year at UMass coming off her best season of her career to-date. In 2011, Cota posted a record of 12-4-1 with 10 shutouts, good for sixth in program history for shutouts in a single season and most by a individual since Briana Scurry in 1993. She logged a 0.82 goals-against average and a .874 save percentage on her way to NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region, All-New England and All-Atlantic 10 recognitions.
Currently, Cota is tied for fifth all-time in program history with 19 career shutouts, two away from tying Kristin Walker (2004-07) for fourth. She ranks fifth in career saves, as well, with 266.
After winning two championships at Northeastern (a CAA tournament title in 2008 and a regular season crown in 2009, Stephanie Gordon saw action in five games in net, drawing four starts in her first season with the Minutewomen in 2011. She posted a record of 2-1-1, including one shutout, and made nine saves in her UMass debut, a 2-1 triumph over New Hampshire. Gordon left Northeastern as the program's career leader in goals-against average (1.09) and earned 2009 All-CAA Second Team and 2008 CAA All-Tournament Team recognition.
In the 2-1 loss to #6 UCLA, Gordon matched her career high with 11 saves, a mark she had previously set against Hofstra while at Northeastern on Oct. 31, 2009.
She bested that career high in the following match, stopping 16 shots at Bryant.
Deep On Defense
Despite graduating 2011 all-region defender Meghan Collins, UMass returns a bulk of talent on defense, some who will see action in the midfield this season.
The Minutewomen bring back five defenders who played in 18 or more games last season.
Among those five, co-captains Jess Howe and Lauren Skesavage were two of five UMass players who started all 21 games last fall. Howe has missed just two matches in her three-plus collegiate seasons for a total of 58 career starts. Skesavage has played and stared 49 of 50 possible matches in her career thus far with the Minutewomen.
As a team, UMass posted 11 shutouts in 2011, including five consecutive, for the most clean sheets by a Minutewomen squad since 1997.
UMass' group of seven sophomores features four players who started 11+ games and appeared in 17 or more of the team's 21 contests last season as freshmen.
Returning leading scorer Tori Sousa posted 12 points as a freshman on four goals and four assists, tying for the team lead in helpers. Sousa posted a team-high nine points in A-10 play (3g, 3a, 2 gwg) last season en route to Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team honors.
Classmate Moa Mattsson is second to Sousa among scorers returning with six points (1g, 4a) as a rookie in 2011. Mattsson, who started all 21 matches last fall, collected multiple postseason accolades, including NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region, Atlantic 10 All-Conference and Atlantic 10 All-Rookie honors.
The Matz Era At UMass
UMass is 27-21-2 (.560) over head coach Ed Matz' first two-plus seasons, including a record of 11-6-1 (.639) in Atlantic 10 matches and a trip to the A-10 final in 2011.
In just two year's time, the squad jumped over 200 spots in the RPI, finishing 2011 with a #46 ranking after concluding the 2009 season at #257.
Under his direction, UMass players have earned nine All-Atlantic 10 honors, five all-region accolades and three All-New England selections.
Matz is 126-112-27 all-time as a women's head coach, with an overall record (men & women) of 209-186-43.
Home Sweet Home
UMass is 229-71-12 (.816) all-time at home with a 51-40-3 (.558) mark at Rudd Field.
The Minutewomen posted an 8-2-1 home record in 2011, including eight shutouts and a victory over #20 Boston University.
UMass will play host to Rhode Island on Saturday, Oct. 6, on Rudd Field at 1 p.m.