Field hockey falls to Tufts in semis

Field hockey (6-10, 5-4 in the NESCAC) ended its season last Saturday against future NESCAC champion Tufts, losing 3-0 in the NESCAC semifinals at Trinity.
Tufts took the lead early when Melissa Burke found the net 10 minutes into play. The Jumbos increased their lead to 2-0 only two minutes later when a Jumbo slammed the ball past Katrina Tulla ’11 from inside the circle with the help of an assist. Near the end of the period, Michelle Kelly scored the Jumbos’ third and final goal.

The Ephs held the score for the rest of the game. They blocked numerous shots and penalty corners but failed to find the net, leaving the final score at 3-0.
Although the Ephs were solid defensively in the second period, their offense fell short. The Jumbos outdid the Ephs 23-3 in shots and 20-0 in penalty corners. “The fact that they were able to score early was key,” said tri-captain Anne de Saint Phalle ’10. “We weren’t able to come back from the deficit.”

Saturday’s biggest challenge for the Ephs was adjusting to the loss of several key players, out due to injury or sickness. “We had a rough week leading up to the NESCAC semis,” Head Coach Alix Barrale said. Ariel Lyddane ’12, Lucy Rollins ’12, and Katie Holmes ’13 all sat out the game for medical reasons.

The loss was a discouraging end to a frustrating season.“It is hard to be satisfied finishing [below .500],” Barrale said. “I’m disappointed that we did not win the out of conference games. However, I think the way we performed in the conference is commendable. The NESCAC is the strongest conference in the nation.”

While the Ephs’ defense was consistently solid throughout the season, the team seemed to have been in need of a little more offensive firepower. “We just weren’t able to generate a lot of offense for some of those games,” de Saint Phalle said.

Although the team will lose their tri-captains de Saint Phalle, Whitney Thayer ’10 and Amy Siedlecki ’10, 20 members of the team will return, providing an experienced foundation going into next season. “They were outstanding leaders,” Barrale said. “Faced with many setbacks … throughout the season, they rallied the team without ever feeling sorry for themselves. It is exciting to have 20 returning players for next season. With dedication and determination in the off-season we will have a strong chance of competing for the top spot in the conference next fall.”