Field hockey splits NESCAC weekend

Field hockey (5-6, 2-5 in the NESCAC) split a pair of conference games on the road last weekend, defeating Conn. College 3-0 on Sunday after falling to Tufts 6-0 on Saturday. The women also fell to Amherst 3-0 on Oct. 7 at home.

Betsy Hart ’14
Betsy Hart ’14 netted a goal at 8:57 to open scoring in the Ephs 3-0 win over the Camels. Photo by Sports Information.

The women’s victory over Conn. College on Sunday came at a decisive point in the season, pushing the team to eighth in the conference, which would earn the team a playoff spot at the end of the regular season. The Ephs came out strong in the first half, taking five shots to the Camels four, while controlling play in their offensive end. The women quickly made good on their offensive attempts nine minutes into the half. In a three-on-one breakaway, midfielder Emily Jablonski ’14 found forward Betsy Hart ’14 on the right post. Hart was able to tip the ball into the cage to give the Ephs a 1-0 lead. While they continuted to dominate play, the Ephs did not score again before the half.

The Ephs started the second half with intensity, and it quickly paid off. Less than five minutes into the half, Katie Jolin ’15 received the ball in the circle and slipped it past Conn. College goalkeeper Becca Napolitano. Caitlin Conlon ’15 was able to get her stick on the ball and guide it into the back of the cage, bringing the score to 2-0. The Ephs continued their offensive pressure after the goal, forcing five penalty corners and taking six shots in the second half, and the Ephs scored their final goal with just under 10 minutes to play. Offensive playmaker Jablonski took control of the ball at the 25-yard line and was able to dodge past three defenders and hit the ball into the circle, where Jolin managed to get a touch on it. The ball slipped past the keeper and to make the score 3-0.

While the women dominated offensively, Eph goalkeeper Ariana Spiliotes ’14 came up big in the cage, making six saves, including several stops on Conn. College penalty corners.

Head Coach Alix Barrale ’93 was pleased with the team’s effort. “The girls should be proud of what they accomplished today,” she said. “Conn. College is a strong team and we were able to work as a team and overcome them.”

On Saturday, the women traveled to Tufts. The Jumbos proved to be the most competitive team the women have faced all season.

The Jumbos had an impressive first half, scoring five goals, three of which came off of their 10 penalty corners. Spiliotes made five saves in the first half, while the Eph offense was held to two shots.

The women came out in the second half as a much stronger and cohesive unit. They took a total of 10 shots, and held Tufts to seven. The women also earned six penalty corners, while Tufts was only able to force four. Unfortunately, with 17:46 remaining in the game, Tufts struck again on a penalty corner, bringing the score to 6-0. The Ephs continued to fight until the end and had two penalty corner opportunities during the last 10 minutes of the game, but were unable to get on the scoreboard before the end of the game.

“While we are obviously disappointed by the outcome, the team fought hard and we are not disappointed with our overall effort,” Barrale said. “Tufts is the most competitive team we’ve faced all season, and we didn’t put our heads down, but continued to fight until the end.”

On Oct. 7, the women fell to Amherst 3-0 at home. Amherst capitalized on penalty corners, scoring twice in the first half, including a goal off a penalty corner after time had expired in the first half. The Jeffs outshot the Ephs 12-2 in the first half of the game while earning 10 penalty corners to the Ephs’ two. Spiliotes made five saves in the first half of the game.

The women came out of halftime determined to make good on their offensive chances. Despite taking seven shots to Amherst’s six and creating two one-on-one opportunities against the goalie, the women could not capitalize on their chances. The second half of the game was a back-and-forth battle to gain control, but the Jeffs once again were able to capitalize with just over 15 minutes left to play, bringing the final score to 3-0.

“We played a competitive second half,” Barrale said, “but it wasn’t enough to make up for our slow start.”

The women will play today at home against Hamilton at 5 p.m. before hosting Colby on Saturday at 11 a.m.