It was a very tough weekend for the University of Massachusetts athletics teams. Starting with the sudden passing of long time band director George Parks on Thursday night and finishing with being swept in three games in three different sports on Sunday. In between there were some small highlights including the football team nearly completing a comeback to upset the #22 ranked Michigan Wolverines and the men’s cross country team took first place in a five team meet on Saturday.
While the men’s soccer team was coming back for a 2-1 victory over UCF with a late game winner from Tyler Cleverdon on Friday, the women’s team wasn’t as lucky, losing to Michigan 5-0 in Ann Arbor. Emily Cota made six saves but could not stop a potent Michigan attack that outshot the Minutewomen 20-4, including a 12-3 advantage in the second half.
Back in Amherst on Saturday the UMass cross country teams were hosting their only home meet of the season. In the men’s race, Amherst College’s Will Yochum paced the field, completing the 8K circuit with a time of 25:12. Senior Andrew Mulvaney lead the UMass team that finished first in team competition with a fourth place finish and a time of 25:48. UMass outscored UConn 47-51 (lower being better) while Maine, Vermont and Amherst College rounded out the competition. In the women’s race, Maine’s Corey Conner finished the 5K with a time of 16:50 to lead all runners as Maine (41) outpaced Boston College (46), Vermont (66), UMass (78) and Amherst College (110). UMass’s best performance came from Courtney Baldwin who finished in fifth place with a time of 17:58. Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams will next compete in the Paul Short Invitation in Bethlehem, Pa.
The 20th ranked field hockey team had a tough weekend as they travelled to Washington, DC to take on American College and then headed over to College Park to take on the #2 team in the country in the Maryland Terrapins. Saturday’s game with American was frustrating for the Minutewomen as they allowed two early goals but could not come back, despite out shooting American 5-1 in the second half. On Sunday the frustrations continued as the Minutewomen were outshot by the 2009 national championship runner up 12-4 in a 3-0 loss. Alesha Widdall made four saves, but allowed three goals, including two on penalty corners. The Minutewomen will play host to UVM on Friday at Garber Field at 6pm.
On the soccer pitch Sunday, the men’s and women’s teams also came up short, each losing one goal games as the men fell to 24th ranked Indiana, while the women lost in an offensive shootout with Oakland. The women’s game was an exercise in excitement with the two teams combining for 33 shots and 12 corner kicks. Deanna Colarossi put home the rebound of a Brittany Moore shot and Therese Smith finished off a Jen Houtman pass for the UMass goals in response to Oakland scores, but could not respond after Nicole Deluca curled a shot from 20 yards out into the far corner for a 3-2 victory.
Playing the second of eight straight home games at Rudd Field, the Minutemen were game but could not keep up with the ranked Hoosiers. After a scoreless first half, the visitors got on the board first when Will Bruin put a low shot from 15 yards out in the net for his fifth goal of the year in the 50th minute. Hellah Sidibe evened the score for the Minutemen about six and a half minutes later with his first collegiate goal on a short poke that found its way just inside the right post. Indiana’s Andy Adlard finished the scoring in the game with an unassisted goal after UMass keeper Chris Piekos was caught out of position. The men’s soccer team will be back on Rudd Field Wednesday against UVM at 3:30, while the women will finish a stretch of four road games with a match at Brown on Thursday.
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