Field hockey holds off Springfield 3-2

Field hockey (6-2, 3-1 in the NESCAC) defeated Springfield on Oct. 1 in an aggressive and physical game. The Ephs’ team chemistry and determination was evident in their 3-2 victory.

The Ephs set the tone immediately by maintaining possession and using rapid-fire shots to pepper the Pride goalie. The women’s hustle and offensive energy awarded them a corner early in the first half, which led to their first goal. Hannah Goodrick ’18 sent a perfectly placed ball to Annie VanWagenen ’16 who rocketed a shot that was saved by the Springfield goalkeeper. However, Brigid Bruno ’17 anticipated the rebound and tapped it into the goal at 12:24 to open the scoring. The Ephs’ second goal of the half came at 20:38 on another well-executed corner. Once again, Goodrick inserted the ball to VanWagenen who passed it to co-captain Caitlin Conlon ’15 at the top of the circle. Conlon found Rachel Brissette ’17, who was waiting by the near-post. Brisette then sailed the ball past the keeper to make the score 2-0.

“We set a goal for ourselves before the game to score in the first half because that was something we’d done in just one other game this season,” co-captain Annie Rojas ’15 said. “It was great to see that we were able to step up to that challenge and go 2-0 by halftime.”

Not only was the team’s offense on point, the defense also made some huge plays. In the first half, a Springfield forward took a long shot from the circle. Goalkeeper Margaret Draper ’17 was forced to come out with a kick save. Rojas and Jaclyn Porfilio ’15 also stepped in with important defensive stops when Springfield had the possession. Their defensive excellence gave them the momentum to continue fighting offensively for the entirety of the game.

“Our passing in offensive transition is improving as is our ability to capitalize in the offensive circle,” Head Coach Alix Barrale ’93 said. “Defensively, we are more disciplined and deliberate with our marking.”

Even with the 2-0 lead entering the second half, Springfield never let up. The Ephs pushed the lead to 3-0 in the second half, as Haley Ladd-Luthringshauser ’15 took advantage of a Springfield defensive misplay and fired in a goal at 36:46. Even with this lead, Springfield retaliated with two goals off of perfectly executed corners. However, the Ephs sustained their lead and clinched the 3-2 victory. The women outshot Springfield 10 to eight throughout the game and created more corner opportunities with nine compared to Springfield’s six.

“I love coaching this team. They are eager to learn and they love to compete,” Barrale said.  “We have a big week ahead of us and I am confident we will savor every minute of competition we have.”

The results from the women’s matchup against Middlebury came in too late to report. Middlebury is ranked No. 4 in the nation, and with a win, the women could very well jump into the top 20 NFHCA Div. III rankings.

The women have two big home NESCAC matchups this weekend, with games Saturday against Wesleyan at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday against Bowdoin at 1 p.m.