Field hockey stumbles against Trinity

Field hockey (2-5, 1-4 in the NESCAC) faced a week of tough competition capped off by a 3-0 loss to Trinity on Sunday. Sunday’s game marked the end of a long, difficult week for the Ephs: The women suffered two close losses earlier in the week, losing 1-0 to Amherst at home on Saturday after falling 2-1 to Springfield on Wednesday.

Williams failed to come out strong offensively in the first period on Sunday, allowing Trinity to establish an early lead that would eventually win the game for the Bantams. Robyn Williams scored for Trinity 16:51 into the half, and her goal was quickly followed by two more goals in succession. Trinity’s shots, which just edged by Williams netminder and co-captain Katrina Tulla ’11, put the Bantams up 3-0 by the end of the third period. Tulla anchored the team with three saves on the day.

The Ephs came out strong in the second half, ready to redeem themselves from their earlier performance. Williams outshot Trinity 6-2 on the half, a stark improvement from the first half’s meager four shots to Trinity’s nine, but the Ephs were not able to convert. Meera Sivalingam ’12 led the charge for the women, tallying five shots on the game but simply couldn’t close out a goal. Time expired with the Bantams still up 3-0.

Amherst came out strong offensively from the beginning on Saturday, thwarting an attempt on goal by Sivalingam in the first few minutes before scoring off of a penalty corner play at the 9:18 minute mark. Tulla made the initial save on the play, but Amherst captain Carly Leahy collected the rebound and fired a shot past Tulla for a 1-0 score and the only goal of the game. Amherst continued to barrage Tulla, taking nine shots to the Ephs’ two on the half, but the defense held strong to close out the half still at 1-0.

Despite a recharged Williams offensive in the second half, the team simply couldn’t put one in past Amherst’s goalie to narrow the Jeffs’ lead. Sivalingam and Helena Nannes ’12 both had good opportunities in the second 35 minutes, but neither was able to convert those chances into goals, leaving Williams down 1-0 as time expired.

Tulla made eight saves on the game, while the Ephs’ offense stepped up in the second half for only an 8-5 shot deficiency against the Jeffs.

Head Coach Alix Barrale, while disappointed, put the losses in perspective in terms of the level of competition the team faced this weekend. “Amherst and Trinity have been the two best teams we [have] faced all season, and we played some of our best hockey in those games,” she said. “The Trinity game is deceiving because 3-0 is a decisive win. We dominated play but could not convert.”

The women’s game against Springfield on Wednesday marked a last-second loss for the Ephs. Defender Amy McLaughlin ’12 put Williams up 23:35 into the game, collecting a pass from Nannes for her first goal of the season and a 1-0 score. An equalizer just six minutes later left the teams tied 1-1 going into the second half.

The Ephs led the second half offensively, outshooting the Pride 10-3, but a Springfield goal within the last five minutes left the women with no chance to respond to a 2-1 deficit. Time expired with Williams down a goal, leading to a disappointing loss.

“We took Springfield too lightly,” Barrale said. “We lacked intensity and will to win.”

The women are already looking ahead to a week of practice time, during which they will be able to take a step back from competing and work on their game. “The focus is to keep working at improving,” Barrale said. “Our competition doesn’t get any easier over the next few weeks, so we need to keep fine-tuning our skills and concentrate on finishing in front of the net.”

Williams will take the week to recover and recharge before facing conference rival Bates at home at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

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