Field hockey made its 2011 NESCAC debut Saturday against Bates in Lewiston, Maine. Although the Ephs controlled play throughout the game, the Bobcats came away with a 1-0 win.
The Ephs controlled the game from the outset, and Williams outshot Bates 21 to 7. Eph goalkeeper Ariana Spiliotes ’14 made two saves to Bobcat goalkeeper Becca Otley’s 13. The women held Bates to only three shots and four penalty corners in the second half while notching eight penalty corners themselves, but Bates would take the advantage 65:53 into the game. The game was scoreless until the final minutes of the second half, when Bates took advantage of a broken play in the midfield. The team was able to advance the ball quickly, and Bobcat Michelle Brady slipped a shot just inside the left goalpost to go up 1-0. The Ephs fought back, but could not penetrate the Bobcats’ defense.
“Overall, we played a good game,” Head Coach Alix Barrale said. “We had several opportunities to score, but had trouble finishing. Though the outcome was not what we’d wanted, our team looks promising.”
Despite the disappointing season opener, Barrale remains confident in her team. “The game helped the girls to see where we are strong, and where we still need some work,” Barrale said. “They are playing as a unit, which is exciting.”
After failing to qualify for the NESCAC playoffs last season, the team has seen a lot of turnover this year, losing tri-captains Alice Bearn ’11, Katrina Tulla ’11 and Lindsay Davies ’11 to graduation, but 10 new freshmen are helping to fill the gap. In addition to the rookies, several central players remain, including co-captains Margie Fulton ’12 and Meera Sivalingam ’12. Sivalingam earned First Team All-NESCAC honors and was named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association New England West First Team for her efforts last season.
The women played Tuesday at Keene State at 7 p.m., but results came in too late to report. They will play at home on Saturday against Trinity in their second NESCAC game of the season. Play starts at noon. The women will play at Union on Sept. 20 for a game at 6 p.m.