Field hockey splits against NESCAC rivals

Alex Bennett ’18 had four shots, two of which were on goal, in the women’s game against Tufts last Saturday. Photo Credit / Sports Information
Alex Bennett ’18 had four shots, two of which were on goal, in the women’s game against Tufts last Saturday. Photo Credit / Sports Information

In the last home game of the regular season, field hockey (10-4, 6-3 in the NESCAC) fell to Tufts in overtime by a score of 2-1.

With consistent back and forth play between the two teams, the game remained scoreless for almost the entire first half. Although the Jumbos outshot the Ephs in the first half, it was the Ephs who would strike first. After some offensive pressure by the Ephs, including several scoring chances and shots on goal, Hannah Goodrick ’18 was awarded a penalty stroke at 31:25 into the first half. Goodrick placed her shot to the right side of the net where she hit the post before the ball was directed into the back of the net. Leading the team in both goals and points, this goal was Goodrick’s sixth of the season.

The Jumbos came out strong in the second half, getting two shots on net early on before tying the score at 1-1 with a goal by Hanaa Malik and an assist by Maggie Chapman at 41:00. Chapman passed Malik the ball just inside the circle, where she dribbled slightly closer to the cage and then lofted a shot over Eph goalie Margaret Draper ’17 and into the net.

The remainder of regulation proved to be scoreless for both sides, despite corner opportunities and multiple shots on goal. When the clock ran out, Tufts was awarded a penalty corner, which gave them one last scoring opportunity to end the game and avoid overtime. Even though a second penalty corner was called based on a defensive error on the first, the Williams defense held off Tufts, forcing the game into overtime.

Because Williams got a yellow card with less than a minute to play in the second half, the card carried over into overtime forcing the Ephs to play six verus five. Off of a corner at 71:19, Alexandra Jamison received the ball centered at the top of the circle and passed to her left to Dakota Sikes-Keilp. Sikes-Keilp wound up and blasted a shot from just inside the circle, which landed directly in the back of the net, giving Tufts the 2-1 win.

At the end of the game, the Ephs had tallied eight shots on goal and five penalty corners while the Jumbos had 14 shots on goal and seven penalty corners. Draper had 12 saves for Williams and Emily Polinski had seven saves for Tufts.

Last Wednesday, Williams downed Hamilton in a 3-1 midweek game. Williams started strong and generated a lot of offensive pressure, leading to five shots on goal in the first six minutes. At 5:59,  tri-captain Kara Sperry ’16 scored the first goal of the game off an assist from Brigid Bruno ’17. After multiple scoring changes and two shots on goal by tri-captain Annie VanWagenen ’16, Bruno got possession of the ball right in front of the cage and took a shot. The ball came towards Sperry, who timed her hit perfectly to redirect it into the back of the net and give the Ephs the 1-0 lead.

In the next five minutes following the goal, Hamilton picked up its energy and pressure, producing three penalty corners and two shots on goal. Although Hamilton had these chances, each attempt was unsuccessful as Draper  turned away the shots and stood her ground.

With less than five minutes remaining in the first half, Williams maintained its pressure as it received an offensive corner. Although the shot from the top of the circle by VanWagenen landed in the back of the net, it was disallowed due to obstruction.

The rest of the first half remained scoreless, and it was not until the 43:32 mark that Williams struck again. The play started with Kit Rosen ’17, who came sprinting down the left side of the field and rifled a long pass into space in the circle. Bruno ran onto the ball just inside the circle and one-timed a powerful shot past the Continental goalie.

Roughly 10 minutes later at the 53:15 mark, the Ephs found the back of the net yet again. Rosen had the ball at the bottom of the circle on the right side of the field and made a centering pass right in front of the net. Alex Bennett ’18 received the pass directly in front of the Hamilton goalie and released a shot. The Hamilton goalie got a piece of the shot with her left foot but the ball ended up redirecting into her own net, giving the Ephs a 3-0 lead.

Despite their momentum, the women could not keep Hamilton off of the scoreboard entirely. At 69:34, Sarah Stinebaugh took a shot from the right side of the circle, forcing Draper to make a diving save to prevent the goal as she stretched out to kick the ball with her right pad. Although Draper made the original save, the ball popped out to Casey Brown who converted the rebound into a goal.

The women hope to improve on their performances this past week. “Our game against Tufts was a true battle that we unfortunately did not win,” tri-captain Emma Grauberger ’16 said. “It was a particularly tough and scrappy game, and I think both teams were really fighting to stay in it which led to overtime play. Despite the outcome, it was a hard fought game. We are hoping to end our season with a win against Middlebury to earn another home game next Saturday.”

The women will play their last regular season game today away at Middlebury at 6 p.m.

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