On Saturday, Oct. 4, the field hockey team was unable to move above .500 in conference play when it suffered a devastating 5-1 defeat to Colby. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak the Cardinals had over the Mules. The victory over the Cardinals is the Mules’ first NESCAC win of the season which improves their record to 1-4 in the conference with an overall mark of 5-4. Despite the loss, the Cardinals remain tied with Hamilton for seventh place in the NESCAC with a 2-3 in-conference record.
“We struggled to play as a team this weekend,” said Captain Anna Howard ’15. “We were 11 individual players instead of one team, and Colby was able to capitalize on that.”
The Cardinals, on the road in Waterville, Maine, set the tone early but struggled afterwards. Seventeen minutes into the contest, the Cardinals were awarded their first of two penalty corners in the half. Lauren Yue ’17, the Cardinals’ penalty corner specialist, inbounded to teammate Lilah Fones ’15, who waited just outside the shooting the circle. Once Fones controlled the pass and brought the ball back into the circle, she took the shot and found the back of the net. The goal marked Fones’ first of the season and gave the Cards a 1-0 advantage. The Cardinals have now scored 4 of their 11 goals off penalty corners this season.
The lead would only last for about four and a half minutes, when the Mules returned the favor by capitalizing on a penalty corner of their own. At the halfway point, the score was tied 1-1 with the Mules edging out the Cardinals 11-6 in shots and 3-2 in penalty corners.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t come out with the intensity we needed to in the second half,” said Captain Hannah Plappert ’16. “Colby came out really strong and hungry for the win. They scored at the beginning of the second half and had a run of goals that we couldn’t stop.”
Four minutes and forty seconds into the second half, the Mules converted on their first penalty corner of the half. The goal gave the Mules their first lead of the game and they never looked back. Fifteen minutes later, the Mules notched another goal on a penalty corner giving them the 3-1 lead. The Mules went on to add two more goals over the next 10 minutes, capping a 5-0 run. Despite allowing five goals, Sara Grundy ’16 weathered the storm and made nine saves on the day, seven of which came in the second half.
“We did not play our game on Saturday, and we each need to take responsibility for that to move on from this game,” Howard said. “It takes each and everyone one of us giving 110 percent so that we can be the best team we possibly can.”
The Cards look to put this loss behind them as they prepare this week for Little Three rival, Williams.
“I think that we walked away from Colby knowing that we can’t give less than 100 percent,” Plappert said. “We have to come out with intensity and determination to every game [because] every team in our league is really good, we can’t afford to cut any corners.”
Although the Cardinals have gone a paltry 1-4 on the road this season, the last time the Cards faced the Ephs in Williamstown two seasons ago, they won by a score of 3-0. This marked the first time the Cardinals had beaten their rival on their home turf in the program’s history. The Cards look to get another victory in Williamstown on Saturday, October 11 at 1:30 pm.
“We’re really going to use Colby as a learning experience,” Plappert said. “Now we know the consequences of not playing our best, [and] we won’t let that happen against Williams.”