AMHERST, MA – After playing through 90-plus minutes of scoreless soccer, UMass (5-2-1) netted the game-winning goal in the 94th minute to post a 1-0 victory over the Brown women's soccer team (4-2-1) in a Mid-Atlantic Regional women's soccer contest Thursday afternoon at Rudd Field.
The game-winner came on the only corner kick of the game for UMass. Tori Sousa sent a perfect ball into the box where it met the head of Deanna Colarossi, who headed the ball to the far corner from the top right of the box.
The two teams played through a scoreless first half with the Bears holding an 8-5 advantage in shots. The Minutewomen were more accurate with their attempts however, as sophomore Amber Bledsoe (Cincinnati, OH) and UMass' Emily Cota both made three saves during the opening 45 minutes.
The Bears nearly grabbed a 1-0 in the 13th minute of play when freshman Kirsten Belinski (Los Altos, CA) fired a hard shot from the top of the box that Cota was able to corral. Then just six minutes later, in the 20th minute of play, freshman Chloe Cross (Seattle, WA) took a hard shot from the right side that just missed, hitting the post.
UMass had a chance of its own in the 31st minute when Lauren Skesavage stepped up for a free kick from 25 yards out. Her low shot went just over a wall of Brown defenders and missed wide, left, as the score remained knotted at zero.
Brown had perhaps its best chance of the half shortly after, when a flurry of shots in the 38th minute of play all missed. Cross started things when her long shot from the right side, which had Cota beat, hit the crossbar. The ball bounced right to Belinksi at the top of the box, but her follow-up attempt was high of the net. The Bears controlled the ball on the restart and Cross had another look at the goal, but UMass was able to block the shot, as the two teams headed into the break tied at zero.
The second half was more of the same with each goalie, Cota for UMass and sophomore MC Barrett (Ithaca, NY) for Brown, making the saves they needed to keep the game scoreless. The Minutewomen had a dangerous chance in the 73rd minute when Barrett made a diving stop on an attempt from Cecilia Jensen. Barrett couldn't control the ball and the rebound bounced out to her left. However, she was able to recover in time, grabbing the ball, before Sousa could get there for a look at the vacated net.
In all, the Bears outshot the Minutewomen 14-12 and earned three corner kicks to UMass' one. Bledsoe and Barrett each made three saves for Brown, while Cota made four for UMass.
After playing seven straight non-league contests, the Bears open their Ivy campaign on Sunday, September 25, when they host Dartmouth in a 4:00 p.m. contest.
Pictured: Amber Bledsoe '14. Photo by DSPics.net.