Cloudy with some rain on our way south to Amherst, it felt bone-chilling ~10C/50F when we arrived at Boyden field by the high-rise dorms. Christyn's parents were there, and I heard maybe Joe Nolan was there, but I couldn't spot the microbus or the Corvette. Christyn's dad said he met a Dartmouth '82 parent of a UMass player unsure which team to support (HA!).
We played at UMass in April 2010, losing 1:2, they beat us 0:1 in Hanover in September 2011 and we tied 1:1 in October 2013 thanks to Katherine Cima's cross to Amanda FC. They are usually strong, so we braced ourselves and talked about making the simple, close passes since the field was still wet.
Although we got an early corner and had shots by Allison, Christyn, Claire and later Amanda W, UMass seemed to dominate play by putting on immense pressure. We had trouble getting the ball into the UMass half.
Hannah kept us in the game with key saves in the 17th, 18th, 25th and 32nd minutes. Tessa also made at least three key clearances. But UMass broke through our defense in the 26th minute to slot a shot into the left corner of our goal.
At the 40-minute half time we spoke about better, quicker passes -- that the ball moves faster than the opposition -- and to find feet with our passes (not long passes that can come right back at us).
In the 42nd minute, Claire set up Caroline V whose shot went over and a minute later Claire got all the way to the UMass end line to make a cross that was blocked.
Hannah prevented a UMass chance in the 47th minute, Julia S had a shot wide, then Hannah made another save before Claire got off a shot that was blocked in the 50th minute. Right after that UMass had a free kick opportunity that looked threatening but rolled wide.
We seemed to turn a corner at the hour mark: Claire had a shot wide then another shot blocked for a corner, and Julia (who, with Shelby, ran the whole game without a sub!) was rewarded for her never-ending work-rate by a foul in the UMass box. Claire converted the PK to even the score in the 61st minute.
Five minutes later Shelby and Julia S had shots saved. UMass responded by sending the ball to the right corner of our half for a cross that was easily tapped in to put them ahead in the 66th minute.
Then we seemed to get MORE energy! Claire had two corners, Leah had a shot that went wide and Claire had another threatening cross blocked. In the 72nd minute, Caroline V sent in a cross from the far right of the field perfectly placed in front of the UMass goal to create a melee in which Julia D capitalized to bring us even again.
At the end of the game, Claire broke away from three UMass defenders and slotted home our game-winner. She got another breakaway in the last minute, but her shot went over.
This was a tribute to the incredibly hard work from the team! This is what Gary Neville (best man in David Beckham's wedding and Manchester United teammate) said is required if you want to win games -- teams have to work hard the WHOLE game! We did that, most of the team without a sub the entire game!
It is very difficult to come back from being down a goal, but the team's calm demeanor and self-confidence paid off surprisingly well. We owe a lot to Hannah and the back four, also, for keeping us in the game!
Wow, another incredible season -- this time all victories in league games and the one non-league game with Middlebury. It will be huge if we can keep that record vs Northeastern over homecoming!
OD: Annie+Caroline V, Amanda W
OM: Christyn+Sophie, Leah, Julia D
F: Claire+Allison, Mel, Amanda W
Shots 14:12 Saves 6:3
5 Claire corner
10 UMass shot wide
13 Allison shot saved
16 Christyn shot wide
17 UMass shot saved
18 UMass shot saved
22 Claire shot wide
25 UMass ball cleared for a corner
25 UMass shot saved
26 UMass shot to left corner of our goal --> 0:1
29 Tessa cleared a UMass attempt -- UMass corner
30 UMass shot blocked for a corner
31 Tessa cleared a UMass attempt -- corner
32 Tessa cleared another UMass attempt
32 UMass shot saved
39 Amanda W shot wide
40 half time
42 Claire pass to Caroline V shot over
43 Claire cross blocked for a corner
45 UMass shot wide
47 UMass shot saved
48 Julia S shot wide
49 UMass shot saved -- corner
50 Claire shot blocked -- corner
58 UMass free kick wide
60 Claire shot wide
Claire cross blocked -- corner
61 Julia fouled in the box for PK
Claire converted --> 1:1
65 Shelby shot saved
Julia shot saved
66 UMass cross tapped in --> 1:2
67 Claire corner (2)
Leah shot wide
70 Claire cross blocked -- corner
72 Caroline V sent in a cross from the right side
Julia D converted --> 2:2
78 UMass cross blocked -- corner
79 Claire breakaway --> 3:2
80 Claire another breakaway, shot over