UMass field hockey scores thrilling last-minute goal to defeat Maine – Massachusetts Daily Collegian
Back and forth play came out in favor of UMass
Massachusetts women’s field hockey, after an extremely competitive game against a strong Maine team, managed to score a goal in the last minute to win an exciting non-conference game.
UMass (3-1) defeated the Black Bears (0-2) 2-1, following a back and forth game between the two very strong teams, the Minutewomen having finally succeeded in winning.
In the first half, the game was very close between the two teams, with neither team managing to gain the upper hand. UMass and Maine played a more conservative defensive game.
“When we spotted them we felt the handheld game was on, a short combination of pace and really ball building in our midfield, that’s how we like to play anyway, so we were excited about it, ”said Minutewomen head coach Barb Weinberg. “Maine did a really good job putting pressure on us individually, and we were just struggling to hold our position, so there were a lot of turnovers in the first half.”
The game intensified as the third quarter approached, as the Black Bears came out aggressively and were able to score the game’s opening goal after midfielder Tereza Holubcova managed to dribble into the circle and score to the 32nd minute.
“Our team have been really great all season, so our only reaction to a goal is a positive mindset,” said Weinberg.
Soon after, the Minutewomen tied the game in the 36th when midfielder Jess Beech scored on an open penalty shot against Maine goaltender Mia Borley, after a tough play against forward Steph Gottwals.
“To know that we would be the next team to score a return goal, we do a really good job of taking it to the next level, knowing that we have the ability to put one on the board quickly,” Weinberg said.
In the fourth quarter, the teams exchanged penalty corner opportunities late in the game. After a formidable three-save streak by first-year UMass goalkeeper Brooke Richards, the Minutewomen were finally able to capitalize on a thrilling late-game penalty corner that ended with a goal in the 59th minute of the match. defender Josie Rossbach to seal the team’s victory.
“Being able to deny is huge and that gives us momentum and being able to capitalize,” Weinberg said. “Josie [Rossbach] has been practicing these deviations all season so it was exciting for her to be able to do one.
Richards was able to put on a formidable performance and step up for the Minutewomen, totaling five saves in the defensive contest.
“It’s never easy for a first year goaltender to step in at this level and she did it from day one and we have full confidence in Brooke,” said Weinberg of Richards.
UMass play again at home this Sunday against rivals UMass Lowell at noon, in hopes of retaining the Kennedy Cup.
Will Kharfen can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ WHK_14.