The Williams Varsity Field Hockey team won its season opener at home last Saturday with a 1-0 defeat of Clark University (2-1). Drawing on the strength of seven seniors and other returning players, the Williams team dominated on offense and kept Clark back on defense for the majority of the game.
Though scoring was low, Alexis Scott ’00 netted one off an assist from Co-captain Lili Anderson ’00 with 6:11 minutes left in the first half to give Williams the win.
Williams began the game well as the team began to push the ball down the field from the tip-off. Clark played strong defense, making it difficult for the Ephs to score, but the visitor had a great deal of difficulty moving the ball to the other end of the field.
Though the ball slipped past midfield two or three times during the first half, Clark runs were short-lived. Defense by Anderson and Co-captain Morgan Heintz ’00 aided Williams in quickly pushing the ball back toward Clark’s goal. Williams’ dominance on offense was evident from offensive penalty corners, of which Williams had six in the first half to Clark’s one.
Despite Williams’ dominance and their penalty corner opportunities, scoring was a bit difficult. Throughout the first half Scott, Robin Severud ’00 and Sarah Commito ’01 both created shots on goal, but Scott’s shot off Anderson’s assist was the only one to go in. That, however, was enough to put Williams up by one, where they would stay for the rest of the game.
The second half was ruled by Williams’ offense, and Williams again tallied six offensive penalty corners. Clark had a couple strong runs and had three offensive penalty corners in the half, but Williams’ defense and some strong plays by goalie Jen Akey ’02 pushed the ball back towards Clark’s end of the field with no damage done. On the offensive end Scott, Severud, Commito, Allison Stepp ’01 and Lyssa Castonguay ‘01 kept the ball rolling but were unable to convert the momentum to any further scoring.
After the game, both Coach Chris Larson Mason and the captains were pleased with the outcome and with the team. Mason commented she was happy with the way Williams controlled the play, but also said that she thinks the team can get more out of its offense with a little fine-tuning.
Captains Anderson and Heintz both emphasized that this was Clark’s fifth game as compared to Williams’ first and that for a first game it went very well. “We played very aggressively,” Anderson commented. “We did a good job stepping up to the ball and had good communication.”
“We have all the ingredients,” Heintz added. “It should be a good season.”
The team plays three times this week: at Smith tonight, home against Union Thursday afternoon and at Little Three opponent Wesleyan Saturday morning.