Field hockey challenges Tufts, Union

Field hockey (3-10, 1-7 in the NESCAC) fell to Tufts 2-1 in a highly contested game on Saturday. The disappointment of the conference loss comes after a success, however, as the women temporarily snapped their losing streak with a decisive 3-1 win over Union on Wednesday.

Saturday saw the women compete in a tight game against Tufts that remained scoreless until midway through the second half. Tri-captain and goalminder Katrina Tulla ’11 made 20 saves over the course of the game to keep the Ephs competitive despite the Jumbos’ prolific shooting: Tufts outshot Williams 14-0 in the first half and 38-4 overall.

Despite these numbers, Williams held its own throughout the game, boxing Tufts out of the goal for the first 35 minutes before notching the first goal in the second half. Nicolle Perry ’13 passed the ball to Emily Pavlini ’14, who notched her first collegiate goal at 54:22 for a 1-0 Williams lead.

Barely 30 seconds later, at the 55-minute mark, Tufts’ Tamara Brown evened the score again with a goal off a teammate’s rebounded shot. With only 15 minutes remaining in the game, a sense of urgency took over the field as both teams struggled to close out the game. The Jumbos, however, continued their rally with another goal in the last five minutes for a 2-1 win. Tufts jumped to second in the NESCAC after the win.

“Katrina Tulla had the game of her life [against Tufts],” Head Coach Alix Barrale said. “The defense fought off 24 corners without giving up a goal. We scored first and were neck-and-neck with them to the very end.”

A 2-0 first half lead put Williams over Union on Wednesday, and despite outshooting the Ephs 15-4 in the second half, the Dutchwomen couldn’t regain their footing and fell 3-1. Meera Sivalingam ’12 started the game off for the women with an early goal, collecting a pass from Margie Fulton ’12 which she then buried in the back of the net just 3:18 into the game for a 1-0 start. Defender Amy McLaughlin ’12 reasserted the Ephs’ control of the game, positioning herself at the top of the circle before firing a shot past Union netminder Kelsey MacElroy. Williams, which outshot Union 15-5 in the first half, went into the break up 2-0.

While the women’s offense wasn’t as strong in the second half, an insurance goal by Karyn Moss ’12 in the 42nd minute kept Williams on top, leading 3-0 until the last nine minutes of the game. At 66:12, Union finally responded, sneaking one goal past Tulla for a 3-1 score. Tulla had already made eight saves during the game. The Dutchwomen were unable to rally despite this last-minute goal, however, and left the Ephs with the victory.

“I think we had an outstanding week in terms of our field hockey performance,” Barrale said. “Tufts had been ranked No. 1 in the country the week before we played [the team] and has made the NCAA Final Four for the past two years. I was so proud of how hard we fought and what we accomplished in that game.”

The team will close out its regular season at 5 p.m. against Middlebury at home on Friday. After the conclusion of the NESCAC regular season next weekend, seeding will be finalized in preparation for the NESCAC Quarterfinals, which will be held on Sunday.

“We have come a long way this season,” Barrale said. “It doesn’t always show up in the results, but the best part about coaching this team is that [the women] continue to put forth their best effort and never give up. The Middlebury game should not disappoint.”