Wesleyan overcomes field hockey 1-0

Field hockey (0-1, 0-1 in the NESCAC) fell 1-0 at Wesleyan in its season opener on Saturday. The Ephs will now look to bounce back and build on last season’s 6-10 record, 5-4 record in the NESCAC and NESCAC semifinal appearance by advancing to the NCAA tournament and winning a NESCAC title.

The Ephs had an up-and-down showing on Saturday. The women controlled a back-and-forth first half and created several opportunities, taking eight shots overall and forcing Cardinal goalie Torrie Redding to make four saves. Meanwhile, Wesleyan only managed to take two shots on goal and six shots overall.

The second half, unfortunately, was a different story. The Cardinals began the second half playing high-pressure on both ends of the field and managed to score less than seven minutes into the second half, maintaining their pressure throughout the rest of the game. Tri-captain Katrina Tulla ’11 kept the Ephs in the game with four saves in the half and six overall, but the women couldn’t break through the Cardinals’ defense, managing only two shots in the second half and ending the game disappointed.

“Obviously it wasn’t an ideal outcome,” tri-captain Alice Bearn ’11 said when asked about the game. “But we’ve all put it behind us and we’re going to come back [this weekend] and redeem ourselves.”

The Ephs will be led by tri-captains Bearn, Tulla and Lindsay Davies ’11. Tulla will anchor the defense and will look to improve on last year’s 2.06 goals per game and .790 save percentage. Amy McLaughlin ’12 will help lead the defense in the field and will be joined by Casey Greene ’13, Sarah Eades ’13 and Cornelia Burleigh ’13.

Bearn, who scored three goals and tacked on four assists last year, will lead the Ephs in the midfield. Meera Sivalingam ’12, the team’s center midfielder, will join Karyn Moss ’12. Moss and Nicolle Perry ’13 will also be key contributors in the midfield.

Davies will lead the women up front. A core group of four juniors – Ariel Lyddane ’12, Margie Fulton ’12, Helena Nannes ’12 and Izzy Lee ’12 – will also spearhead the Ephs’ attack. Katie Pettengill ’13 is also set to play up front for the Ephs.

Bearn noted offense as a key area of improvement for the women if they want to have a successful season. “One of our main things that we have to work on collectively is just being more offensive, working more on our forward line to get more opportunities in the circle and winning games through that [offensive drive],” Bearn said.

Five first-years join the Ephs in their push to top the NESCAC. Betsy Hart ’14, Emily Jablonski ’14 and Emily Pavlini ’14 will look to contribute all over the field, while Gia Recco ’14 will likely play defense. Meanwhile, Ariana Spiliotes ’14 will play goal behind Tulla.

“Obviously we have a lot of raw talent, so we’re going to have to find our groove with all the young players, but we have an immense amount of talent on the team right now,” Bearn said when asked about the season’s prospects. “I’m really looking forward to working with everyone and coming together as a team [this season].”

Harnessing that talent will prove essential this season, as the Ephs will go up against a number of strong teams within the extremely competitive NESCAC conference during the course of both regular play and the postseason.

The women played Keene State yesterday, but the score came in too late to report. The team will now prepare for this weekend’s 1 p.m. NESCAC matchup at Conn. College on Saturday.

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