Coinciding with Family Weekend and near-perfect early fall weather, the field hockey team put together a dominating performance against Hamilton, leading to a 3-1 victory that ended the Continentals’ four-game win streak. The Cardinals climbed back to .500 in the NESCAC and are now tied with the Continentals for seventh place with 2-2 records. The Cardinals im- proved their all-time record against the Continentals to 4-0 with their win on Saturday, Sept. 27.
“I believe that it was a very good game, and that we were able to dominate the game all over the field,” said Captain Anna Howard ’15. “We are now 2-2 in NESCAC games going into [next weekend’s game against] Colby.”
Earlier in the week, the Cardinals fell 2-1 in an overtime thriller to Mt. Holyoke, which was arguably the best game of their sea- son. The Cardinals wanted to carry over the same level of urgency and focus from the Mt. Holyoke contest into their game against Hamilton, and they did just that.
“Tuesday had been a tough loss, but we played really well against Mt. Holyoke,” said Captain Hannah Plappert ’16. “I was happy we were able to bring the same intensity on Saturday, and it was a great win. We really came out strong and played as a team.”
The Cardinals jumped out to an early lead when Mackey Hemphill
’15 put the first tally on the board in the 13th minute of play. After the first shot of the game, coming off the face of Plappert’s stick, was blocked by the Continentals’ goalie, Hemphill came rushing into the circle, grabbed the rebound, and put the ball in the back of the net.
Thirteen minutes after their first goal, the Cardinals were award- ed the first of six penalty corners after the Continentals commit- ted a violation. On the inbound, Lauren Yue ’17 centered the ball to Plappert, who controlled the pass and drilled a shot past the goalie, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. Plappert, though, was not content with just the single goal. Ninety- four seconds later, she extended the lead to 3-0, converting on a pass from Hemphill. Plappert played a key role in Saturday’s game, taking nine of the Cardinals’ 12 shots and contributing to all three goals.
After the first half, starting goalie Sara Grundy ’16, who saw two shots go wide and did not have to make a single save, was replaced in net by Claire Edelman ’17. Edelman made one save and gave up one goal off of two shots in her second ap- pearance this season.
“We really played with com- posure,” Plappert said. “We had smart passes and really connected on the field. Everyone wanted the ball and no one was afraid to direct the game.”
At the season’s halfway point, the Cardinals are 3-5 overall and 2-2 in conference play. On paper, the Cardinals would appear to be get-
ting outplayed by their opponents, being outscored 18-10 and outshot 106-86. On the field, though, it is a different story.
“I think that we have grown a lot as a team over the first part of the season, [and although] there were definitely some obstacles through- out the first half, I think that we learned from them and became a stronger team,” Howard said. “I am excited for the rest of the season and to show our remaining opponents how good of a team we are.”
The Cardinals’ next chance to build on their momentum comes Saturday, Oct. 4, when they travel to Colby to take on the Mules, who carry a 0-4 conference record. With a win, the Cards would move above .500 in the NESCAC for the first time this season.
“I believe that this [win over Hamilton] will help fire us [up] to win against Colby [and] have a winning record in the NESCAC,” Howard said.
The Cards hope to extend their four game win streak over the Mules on Saturday, but a win will not come easy. The Mules look to avenge last year’s heartbreaking 3-2 penalty shootout loss to Wesleyan with a win on their home turf.
“Our game against Colby last year was insane; we went into double overtime and ended up winning in a final shoot-out,” Plappert said. “We know that Colby is going to really be a challenge again this year, but I know everyone on the team is will- ing to give everything for another win.”