Field hockey took home its first victory of the season, beating Babson College 3-1 on Friday. The Cardinal women improved to 1-2 on the season and are relieved to put a notch in the win column.
“It felt really great to win, especially because we won the game together as a team,” said captain Amber Bruckner ’14.
The Cardinals dominated the game with an unrelenting attack, outshooting Babson 16-6 and putting nine shots on goal. Bruckner had two goals, one assisted by fellow captain Blair Ingraham ’14, who also added a goal herself, and the other by Hannah Plappert ’16.
Unlike in the previous two games, in this game the team created more chances by getting more players involved. Taking control of the ball more and making sharp passes led to more scoring opportunities, which ultimately resulted in Wesleyan getting three tallies on the scoreboard. The Cardinals’ aggressive play kept Babson on its heels throughout, resulting in nine penalty corners and constant offensive pressure.
“I think we really worked together in our game against Babson, and it showed,” Bruckner said. “When we work as a team, we can be really successful.”
Ingraham leads the team with five points so far this season and has been a very accurate shooter. Two-thirds of her shots have been on goal, slightly higher than the team’s average of .639. Bruckner has been the most prolific Cardinal this season, leading the team with 11 shots, 6 of them on target.
Once again, Sara Grundy ’16 was strong in goal, saving four of five shots and increasing her save percentage to .786 on the season. At this point in the year, Grundy has 22 saves, while opposing netminders have stopped just 18 Wes attempts.
The team now heads into the heart of its season with the majority of upcoming games against NESCAC opponents. Wesleyan is getting set to take on one of its toughest opponents on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. when defending Division III champion Tufts comes to town.
Tufts is 3-0 on the season with a 2-0 NESCAC record. In the Jumbos’ first three games, they outshot opponents 95-17 while only allowing four penalty corners and two goals. This game will surely test the Cardinals’ strength, but they are up for the challenge. The upcoming game on home turf will be a good test of the team’s skills, and a victory will require a group effort on both the offensive and defensive ends of the field.
“I think Tufts is going to be a very strong competitor,” explained Bruckner. “They are coming off of a national championship and they have a lot of momentum. That being said, we have a lot to prove on Tuesday. The last time we saw Tufts was during NESCAC playoffs, and I think our team is ready to face them again.”
For the Cardinals to contend with the Jumbos, they must stay disciplined and put pressure on Tufts’ defense, forcing it to make mistakes. This would be a huge upset if the Cardinals could pull out a win, and would be a big confidence booster as they strive to accomplish one of their perennial goals.
Attendees can be assured of seeing championship-caliber skills and competition at Smith Field, along with a chance that the Cardinal women pull off a true stunner in front of the Wesleyan faithful.