Field hockey takes NESCAC opener against Camels

Field hockey (2-0, 1-0 in the NESCAC) is off to an especially strong start, as Williams defeated Conn. College 4-1 on Saturday, bringing their season record to 2-0. Christa Petrelli ’05 scored three goals and Tori Scott ’04 netted one of her own in addition to assisting one of Petrelli’s.

Head Coach Alix Rorke noticed a definite improvement in attitude from last week’s game, in which the Ephs were victorious over Clark University. “We were more focused and intense than last game,” Rorke said. “We didn’t let up. I think the girls were a little more excited to play a conference team today.”

The Ephwomen played with intensity throughout the game, especially in the first half. Until the first goal, it looked as if it would be a close game because the teams appeared to be evenly matched.

However, the first goal, scored unassisted by standout Petrelli, set off a spark within the team. Williams was on fire for the remainder of the first half, exhibiting good passing and exemplary stick skills.

Only three minutes after the first goal was scored, senior forward Scott scored the second goal of the game. The Ephs’ domination of the Camels continued as Petrelli scored two more goals, the second with a mere minute remaining on the clock. Petrelli was assisted by Scott on her second goal and completed the hat trick on a pass from forward Tara Boyd ’05.

The Williams goalies’ impressive performances were also notable. Goalie Wendy Stone ’05 had one save. “We played together as a team [during the first half,]” Rorke said.

While the Ephwomen played with power during the first half, they seemed to cool off in the second half and lost a little of their momentum, probably due to the complacency that accompanies a 4-0 lead. “We were lackadaisical,” Rorke said. “In the second half we were a little laid back. It’s great to win 4-1, but it’s tough knowing that we could have given more at the end. Consistency is definitely our biggest challenge. We have to keep the pressure on for 70 minutes and not be satisfied with a 4-0 lead.”

Accompanying the Ephwomen’s lapse in intensity, was a new-found determination from the Camels to climb back into the game. Conn. College’s Emily Huffman ended the Camels’ scoring drought with her first goal 13 minutes into the second half, and throughout the half the ball lingered in Williams’ defensive side.

But Eph goalie Jen Steinberg ’05 managed to keep Williams on top as she saved two of the three shots on goal and the defense held tight under strong play from the sophomore tandem Emily Grannon ’06 and Jay Mitchell ’06. “They never gave up,” Rorke said of the Camels. “They came out and gave us a good second half.”

Still, despite not scoring a single goal in the final half, Williams was able to stave off the Camels and finish the game with a victory.

The Ephwomen’s next challenge is against Bowdoin. Next Saturday, the team will travel to Brunswick, Maine for what should be one of the closer games of the NESCAC season. “Bowdoin is gonna be a big one,” Rorke said. Eph-fans eagerly anticipate another victory.

However, the Polar Bears should present the Ephwomen with challenge, as they are currently the 16th ranked team in the country. Bowdoin has opened their 2003 campaign with three-straight wins, most recently defeating Wheaton, 3-0.

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