AMHERST, Mass. -
With a fourth consecutive Atlantic 10 Tournament berth on the line, the UMass women's soccer team will take to the road this weekend to close out the regular season at St. Bonaventure on Friday, Oct. 26, at 3 p.m. and at Duquesne on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m. Currently tied for seventh in the conference standings, the Minutewomen enter the weekend 8-8-1 overall and 3-3-1 in the A-10.
Scouting St. Bonaventure
St. Bonaventure comes into the final weekend of the regular season holding a record of 6-10-1 with a mark of 3-4-1 in conference play, currently tied for ninth in the standings with nine points. Last weekend, the Bonnies fell to Dayton, 3-0, and defeated Xavier, 2-1 in double overtime.
Brittany Charles paces St. Bonaventure with 10 points on two goals and six assists. Shannon Van Riper, the squad's top goal scorer, follows with four for eight points.
The three Bonnies' goalkeepers have split time in net this season. Kathryn Kerkman has played a team high 661:52 over nine matches with six starts and hold a 2.31 goals-against average and a .622 save percentage.
Against The Bonnies
The Minutewomen are 14-3 all time against St. Bonaventure since the series began in 1993 and defeated the Bonnies twice last year, 1-0 during the regular season and 3-1 in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Current sophomore Moa Mattsson had assists in both contests.
UMass last faced St. Bonaventure on the road in 2004, a 3-0 win for the Minutewomen.
Duquesne, who will play Rhode Island on Friday, enters the weekend at 6-9-2 overall and is currently 13th in the Atlantic 10 standings with a record of 2-4-1 in conference play. Last weekend, the Dukes defeated Xavier, 2-0, and fell to Dayton, 4-0.
The Dukes' top scorer, Morgan Herbert, has 13 points to her credit on five goals and three assists, including two game winners. Caroline Lacy follows with seven points on three goals and one assist. Duquesne has scored just 15 goals in 17 matches thus far this season.
In net, the Dukes have Devon Tabata who has played in 13 games and holds a 1.48 goals-against average and a .823 save percentage with a record of 6-6-1 and two shutouts.
Against The Dukes
The Minutewomen are 10-4 all-time vs. Duquesne since 1996 and have won the last two meetings against the Dukes, both by 1-0 scores.
With four points last Sunday against George Washington on a goal and two assists, her first multi-assist game of her career, sophomore Moa Mattsson surpassed the 20-point mark this season.
Mattsson is just the fourth Minutewoman in the past decade to post a 20-point season.
Her current total of 23 points (nine goals, five assists) is the most by UMass player since Britt Canfield had 26 (8g, 10a) in 2007. Mattsson's nine goals ties the most by a Minutewoman since Canfield scored 10 in 2004.
The match vs. George Washington marked Mattsson's fifth of the year with three or more points.
In The Atlantic 10
UMass is 109-70-8 (.604) 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.
First Goal Crucial
UMass is 8-0 when scoring the first goal of the match this season and 0-8-1 when its opponent notches the first tally.
Six of the Minutewomen's eight victories have come via shutout, while the squad has been held off the board in six of eight setbacks. Four of the eight losses were by one-goal margins.
Where They Stack Up Nationally
Out of 330 Division I women's soccer programs in the nation, UMass ranks 26th as a team in save percentage (.851).
Moa Mattsson is eighth nationally in game winning goals with five.
Minutewomen Among The A-10 Leaders
Moa Mattsson is tied for first in game-winning goals (5), fourth in points (23) and fifth in points per-game (1.35), sixth in goals (9), sixth in goals per-game (0.53), eighth in assists (5) and ninth in assists per-game (.29).
Goalkeeper Stephanie Gordon is first in the Atlantic 10 in saves per-game (7.75), third in save percentage (.873) and eighth in total saves with 62.
Eight different players have combined for UMass' 20 goals on the season. Five of the eight logged their first career tallies.
Having surpassed her freshman year total of six points just two matches into the season, sophomore Moa Mattsson currently leads the Minutewomen in scoring through 17 matches with 23 points and notched her first of the season in a 2-1 loss to #6 UCLA in the teams' season opener.
Last Time Out
UMass rolled to a 4-0 victory over George Washington on Sunday afternoon on Rudd Field, Senior Day for Emily Cota, Stephanie Gordon and Jess Howe, who all contributed defensively to the shutout.
Sophomore, Moa Mattsson, who finished the match with four points on a goal and two assists, set up UMass' first tally of the afternoon at the 22:47 mark. Mattsson flicked the ball over to sophomore Tori Sousa for a shot, which was stopped by netminder Nicole Fasano. However, the rebound came to Jackie Bruno, which she was able to drive home into the open net.
Coming out of the intermission, UMass proceeded to put the game out of reach. Sophomore Alyssa D'Arcy added the Minutewomen's second of the afternoon just 42 ticks in to the second half, dribbling into the center and firing a shot from outside the 18-yard box into the top right corner of the net.
Then, after Sousa was hauled down in the box, and UMass was awarded a penalty, Mattsson took the kick and drove home her team-leading ninth of the season in the 54th minute.
D'Arcy and Mattsson connected for the Minutewomen's fourth of the afternoon at 60:26 to complete the scoring. Mattsson stole the ball from a diving Fasano to the right of goal and centered it for D'Arcy, who knocked it in for her second score of the contest.
UMass finished the match with a 12-5 shot advantage and led in corner kicks, 9-0. Cota and Gordon split time in net for the Minutewomen and logged one save apiece. Fouls were 9-8 against UMass.
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.
Mattsson Collects Second Weekly Honor Of The Season
Moa Mattsson was tabbed the UMass Athlete of the Week on Oct. 9 after scoring the game-winning goal and notching an assist in a 3-1 win over Rhode Island.
The sophomore scored the game winner in each of the prior four of the Minutewomen's victories and logged her fourth match of the year with three points or more against the Rams. The Uppsala, Sweden native now sits tied for eighth all-time in UMass history for game-winning goals in a single season, as well.
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 in non-conference play came 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 #2 in the latest poll, remains undefeated at 12-0-2. UMass is one of five teams to score against the Bruins as the squad has allowed six goals through 16 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 an 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 fifth all-time in program history with 20 career shutouts, one away from tying Kristin Walker (2004-07) for fourth. She ranks fourth in career saves, as well, with 291.
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 74 career starts. Skesavage has played and stared 56 of 57 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 30-24-3 (.553) over head coach Ed Matz' first two-plus seasons, including a record of 14-9-2 (.604) 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 130-115-28 all-time as a women's head coach, with an overall record (men & women) of 211-189-44.