Field hockey streaks to 3 consecutive wins

Field hockey (7-6, 4-5 in the NESCAC) had a successful two-win homestand last week. On the women’s senior day last Saturday, the women shut Colby down 3-0. The win came on the heels of a highly-contested 2-1 win over Hamilton on Thursday.

Co-captain Meera Sivalingam ’12
Co-captain Meera Sivalingam ’12 recorded a goal and an assist in the women’s wins last week. Photo by Sports Information.

The Ephs are now on a three-game winning streak.

Williams came out strong against Colby on Saturday, as forward Caitlin Conlon ’15 took a shot just 1:50 into the match. The Ephs managed 13 shots in the first half, while holding the Mules to three shots; the women also earned 10 penalty corners and limited Colby to two. However, Mule goalkeeper Michelle Burt came up big in the first half, making seven saves, including many key stops on Eph penalty corners. As a result, the teams entered the half in a scoreless tie.

At the start of the second half, the Ephs continued to pressure the Mules, and it finally paid off, as they made good on their first penalty corner of the half. Cary Hairfield ’15 inserted the ball to Emily Jablonski ’14, who stopped the ball for co-captain Meera Sivalingam ’12. Sivalingam’s shot found the back of the net with 28:46 remaining in the match to put Williams on top 1-0. The offense did not let up following the goal, and just over a minute later, Conlon fed Jablonski outside the circle. Jablonski dodged the Mule defenders and found the back of the cage with 27:39 remaining.  The women went up 2-0 on Jablonski’s goal.

With fewer than 15 minutes remaining, Jablonski scored the women’s third goal off a pass through traffic from Katie Ellis ’12. The women were able to maintain this lead through the final minutes, and goalkeeper Ariana Spiliotes ’14 earned her second conference shutout. Although the Ephs dominated the scoreboard, the Mules challenged the Ephs in the second half, tallying six shots and six penalty corners; Spiliotes was forced to make two saves. The women tallied six shots in the second half but only forced two penalty corners.

Head Coach Alix Barrale ’93 commended the team’s effort. “Although we controlled the first half, we were much more successful in the second,” she said. “I was pleased that all four seniors [co-captain Margie Fulton ’12, Helena Nannes ’12, Ellis and Sivalingam] contributed to the win, and that it was a true team effort.”

On Thursday, the women faced conference foe Hamilton at home, earning a 2-1 victory with their aggressive play. Williams controlled play in the first half, as the women outshot Hamilton 5-2 and earned five penalty corners to Hamilton’s one. Betsy Hart ’14 was first on the board, scoring off of a penalty corner only 10:38 into the match. Hairfield inserted the ball to Conlon, who passed right to Hart. Hart took a powerful raised shot that found the back of the cage with ease. However, the Continentals answered just over 10 minutes later with a goal by Nikki Haskin off of a penalty corner. The half ended with the score tied at 1-1.

In the second half, the women were dominant, taking 14 shots and holding Hamilton to one shot. The Ephs scored the final goal of the game with 23:45 remaining. Sivalingam passed the ball to Conlon, who found Fulton in front of the cage. Fulton hit the ball past the keeper into the right corner of the cage. The score brought the final tally to 2-1 in the Ephs’ favor.

“We did exactly what we set out to do [Thursday], working very hard to accomplish this win,” Barrale said. “Sarah Eades [’13] was dominant on defense, controlling play and shutting down the Hamilton offense.”

The women’s victories this week give them a 7-6 record, their best record since 2007. “This success speaks to the leadership of the senior class,” Barrale said.

The women play Middlebury tonight in their final regular season game at 6 p.m. The Ephs will play in the first round of the NESCAC tournament on Saturday. Their opponent will be determined by Wednesday’s results.