Junior midfielder Kaylan DiModugno (22) was one of four River Hawks to register a multi-goal game on Saturday afternoon. (Courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics)
The River Hawks came into Saturday afternoon’s contest against LIU Brooklyn hot, with four straight wins behind them. With their best start in their Division I history, UMass Lowell met the Blackbirds with a 4-2 record.
Despite a slow start by the River Hawks, UMass Lowell maintained its streak with an eight-goal second half to power past LIU Brooklyn 12-8.
With the win, the River Hawks advanced to a 5-2 record, while sending the Blackbirds back to a 2-6 record.
“I was really excited we were able to make some adjustments from [the] first half to the second half,” said UMass Lowell head coach Carissa Medeiros.
Three UMass Lowell players earned hat tricks in the scoring onslaught brought on by the River Hawks, by sophomore attack Rebecca Idson, junior attack Taylor Sokol and junior attack Austin Trasatti.
Junior midfielder Kaylan DiModugno tallied two goals of her own.
Capitalizing off of a slow start by the River Hawks LIU swooped into action, thanks to the herculean efforts of senior midfielder Jenn Peters, who tallied four goals, all of them unassisted, in the first half. Peters would finish the game with five goals, bringing her season total to 25.
Peters struck first blood scoring an unassisted goal coming just over six minutes into the game.
However, UMass Lowell tallied their first goal just 11 seconds later with sophomore attack Rebecca Idson’s fifteenth of the season, with an assist coming from freshman midfielder Hana Caster.
Although LIU Brooklyn then went on to score two unanswered goals, making it a 3-1 game in the first ten minutes of the half, UMass Lowell came back to tie the game at four thanks to some clutch goal scoring.
Coming off of a timeout, the River Hawks struck for their second goal of the game with Idson’s second goal of the game.
Play in the first half ended with the River Hawks spending a bit more time in their offensive zone and the buzzer sounded right after a UMass Lowell shot on net. Down 5-4 heading into the second half, the River Hawks needed to assert themselves in the coming thirty minutes.
“We came out a little slow, a little sloppy. I think we were riding a little high from our last couple of wins,” said Medeiros.
Coming off of those first thirty minutes, the River Hawks dominated the second half after a halftime discussion with Coach Medeiros.
“At halftime, we kind of just talked about needing to actually show up and play the game and execute, and that they had thirty more minutes to turn it around,” said Medeiros.
The River Hawks scored just a minute into the second half with sophomore midfielder Kendyl Finelli potting her sixth goal of the season on an unassisted effort.
From there, UMass Lowell revved their engines and scored four unanswered goals, one of them off of a free position shot, coming from behind to make it a 9-5 game not even ten minutes into the half.
The Blackbirds were able to get on the scoreboard after a timeout but the River Hawks charged back and scored three straight.
Although LIU Brooklyn then scored two straight, the River Hawks’ point cushion proved to be too much for them to overcome.
Coach Medeiros attributes the River Hawks’ start, the best in their Division I history, to two early losses. “We played really, really close with two very, very strong teams. I think that even though we came out on the losing side, there were plenty of wins for us in those games that it really instilled a true sense of confidence in a lot of our girls,” said Medeiros.
The River Hawks will face their next challenge against Bryant University on Wednesday, March 29 at 3 p.m. The Bulldogs come into Lowell with a 4-3 record that includes a huge win over the Brown University Bears in the Ocean State Cup.
“We have to figure out a way to play a full sixty minutes against Bryant… I’m looking forward to a highly competitive game if we can make some adjustments that we need to make and show up from the first whistle. That’s going to be extremely important,” said Medeiros.