The Wesleyan field hockey team suffered a 3-0 loss Tuesday night to defending Division III champion Tufts Jumbos, dropping the Cardinals to 1-3 on the season and winless in NESCAC play; Tufts improved its record to 3-0 in the NESCAC and 4-0 overall.
“[Despite the loss,] we really fought hard against Tufts. We played very well as a team and kept fighting until the end of the game,” said captain Blair Ingraham ’14. “I think we took Tufts by surprise, and I’m really proud with the way the team came out against such a forceful, well-known team.”
Although the team was playing the defending national champions, the Cardinals pushed the Jumbos by putting pressure on their defense. Tufts dominated the scoreboard, but Wes did have its chances.
“I felt like we played with them the entire game and even dominated at times, ” Ingraham stated. “It was a very even game, though—both teams have their strengths.”
Keeper Sara Grundy ’16 gave up three goals on 10 shots. In total, Tufts got off 19 shots and had 12 penalty corners, while the Jumbos held the Cardinals to just six shots, three of which were on goal, and gave up only two corners. The Jumbos lived up to their impressive reputation, and the fact the Cardinals were able to keep the game relatively close attests to their determination. Although there may not have been many scoring opportunities for the girls, they made the most of every chance they had.
“We did create some great scoring opportunities,” Ingraham said. “We kept the defense on their toes the whole game.”
In the end, Tufts’ skilled defense and ability to find the open player resulted in another Jumbos win. It took a great team to shut down a Cardinal offense coming off a three-goal performance of its own.
“Tufts had some strong defenders with great sticks and blocks,” Ingraham said. “They do a really nice job of passing and finding each other for fast breaks.”
Although the team may have lost the game, there is one takeaway point that Ingraham wanted to highlight.
“If we play like we did against Tufts for the rest of the season, we’re going to be a force in the NESCAC,” she said.
As the field hockey team prepares for its next game at home against Bates this Saturday, Sept. 21 at noon, Ingraham said the team is focusing on several specific aspects of play.
“We’re looking to continue to improve our teamwork and passing for our game against Bates,” she said.
Bates is also 1-3 thus far with a 0-2 NESCAC record, so on paper, this game should be very competitive.
“As with all NESCAC teams, we expect Bates to come out strong,” said Ingraham. “But we will come out stronger… we’re ready for our first NESCAC win.”