Field hockey downs Colby in OT

Field hockey (2-2, 1-2 in the NESCAC) vanquished Colby in a 4-3 overtime thriller on Saturday. The Ephs clinched their first NESCAC win of the season in the home game.

The women came out hard in the first half, with Karyn Moss ’12 putting the Ephs on the board at the 12:14 minute mark. The team held its 1-0 lead until almost the end of the half, when Mule Kelly Roth tied the game at 1-1 with a goal in the last 30 seconds of play. Though the score was even, Williams outshot Colby 10-1 during the first 35 minutes.

The second half saw Williams draw back onto defense: Colby outshot the women 12-4 on the half. In the 51st minute, however, Meera Sivalingam ’12 took control off of a penalty corner, passing the ball to fellow Eph Margie Fulton ’12, who evaded Colby keeper Liz Fontaine to put Williams up 2-1.

Less than a minute later, Katie Pettengill ’13 built on Fulton’s momentum, nudging the ball past Fontaine once again for a 3-1 lead with just under 18 minutes to play. By the 62nd minute, however, Colby had erased the women’s lead with two back-to-back goals. A five-minute penalty on Fulton gave the Mules the advantage in numbers as they brought the score to 3-3.

Aggressive play increased as the clock wound down. The women nearly had a buzzer-beating goal with fewer than 30 seconds left on the clock, but a defensive save by Colby broke up the scrum in front of the goal, leaving the teams tied as time expired.

The women came out hard again in overtime. An offensive rush and three consecutive corners gave Williams an edge in the beginning of the period, and at the 6:18 mark the team was able to capitalize on its opportunities. Sivalingam made an attempt on goal following a penalty corner, but her shot rebounded off the Mules’ goalie. Nicolle Perry ’13, however, collected the rebound and tipped the ball past Fontaine for a goal, securing a 4-3 win.

Netminder Katrina Tulla ’11 anchored the team on defense, tallying three saves during her 76 minutes of play. Williams outshot Colby 17-15 on the game, and also held an 11-7 advantage on penalty corners.

“I was very pleased with our performance this weekend,” Head Coach Alix Barrale said of the team’s last-minute win. “I thought we really made the adjustments we needed to. Our passing was better, our communication was better – we were just in a better place.”

Barrale also specifically mentioned the ability the team demonstrated to see offensive opportunities out to the end. “We actually did a really nice job of finishing and scoring this weekend,” she said. “We managed to finish it up and that was really exciting to see.

Williams will spend this week preparing for a grueling schedule. The women will first face Springfield at home at 6 p.m. tonight and then host archrival Amherst at 11 a.m. Saturday. Finally, the team will travel to Trinity for a 1 p.m. matchup on Sunday.

“The great thing is that [Saturday’s] game is a good game to work off of,” Barrale said. “We really did improve on scenarios we needed to improve on, so if we keep channeling that and getting better, we can be competitive in all those games.”