Field hockey advances to 2-1

Field hockey (2-1, 1-1 in the NESCAC) enters its new season with a winning record after the first week of competition. The women dropped Saturday’s match on the road against Trinity 3-1, coming off an undefeated home stand the previous weekend to open the season. The women topped Keene State 3-1 on Sept. 11 after overcoming conference foe Bates 3-2 on Sept. 8.

Last weekend, the women fell quickly to Trinity, who gained control of play for most of the first half. The Bantams’ first goal came from Hadley Duncan 31:32 into the half. Duncan scored again six minutes later, leading the Bantams in scoring for the day with two of the team’s three goals. A five-minute span of scoreless play ended with a third goal, this time from Bantam Haley Thompson for a 3-0 tally. Down by three goals, the Ephs staged a comeback with a goal from Abigale Belcrest ’16. Assisted by Caitlin Conlon ’15, Belcrest scored her first career goal at 45:44. Belcrest had a touch on three of the women’s shots on goal for the day, but was only able to capitalize on the pass from Conlon. Keeper Ariana Spiliotes ’14 recorded nine saves against Trinity, keeping Williams in the game through 70 minutes of play.

Conlon led the women in scoring in their non-conference win against Keene State, scoring two of the women’s three goals. The Ephs were first on the board thanks to a goal from rookie Lexie Brackenridge ’16 off an assist from Annie VanWagenen ’16. Conlon strengthened Williams’ lead 11 minutes later with an unassisted goal at the 27:22 mark. Despite early success, the women faced unrelenting competition for the rest of the match, as Keene State fought to make a comeback. Finally, overcoming fierce defensive efforts from the Ephs, the Owls scored their only goal of the night 37:04 into the match, cutting the Ephs’ lead to 2-1. However, Conlon increased the women’s lead to two, scoring her second goal of the night off an assist by VanWagenen. The Ephs’ defense held off the Owls’ attacks for the rest of the game, bolstered by strong efforts from Jaclyn Porfilio ’15 and Betsy Hart ’14.

The women kickstarted their season by defeating NESCAC rival Bates by one goal on Sept. 8.  VanWagenen scored all three of the Ephs’ goals on the day, beginning with her goal off a pass from Conlon only 10 minutes into the first half. The team’s lead was broken, however, by a Bobcat goal after about 20 minutes of scoreless play. Williams turned the momentum back in its favor, scoring two quick goals to bring the score to 3-1. Although the Bobcats responded with another goal, narrowing their lead to one at 3-2, at the 55:09 mark, the Ephs controlled play for the rest of the game. Bates was not able to continue its comeback, however, and the women closed out the game with the score still stuck at 3-2. Along with VanWagenen’s shots, Brackenridge, Emily Jablonski ’14 and Hale Ladd-Luthringshauser ’15 all contributed to bring Williams’ shots on goal to 14.

The team remains positive about its chances in the weeks ahead. “We have a pretty serious stretch of games coming up in the next few weeks snd I think we’re up for the challenge,” Jablonski said.

The women kick off a doubleheader home stand against Wesleyan this Saturday at noon. The women then take on Conn. College at 1 p.m. on Sunday.