Despite outshooting their Little Three rivals in the second half, Field Hockey fell to Williams, 4-1

The field hockey team dropped its second straight game on Saturday, falling to Little Three rival, Williams, 4-1. With this loss, the Cardinals fell to 3-7 on the season with a 2-4 NESCAC record, while the Ephs improved to 7-4 with an in-conference record of 4-3. The Cardinals have struggled on the road this season, only recording one victory in six road games while being outscored 21-7.

“We have just had back-to-back tough losses,” said Captain Anna Howard ’15. “I think that we need to go back to the basics right now and just look at the rest of the season as a clean slate.”

Throughout the first half, the Ephs dominated all aspects of play, outshooting the Cardinals 7-1 and being awarded eight penalty corners compared to the Cardinals’ one. In the 14th minute of the contest, the Ephs put the first points on the board, but despite numerous opportunities, that was all they could muster in the first half. Goalie Sara Grundy ’16 kept the game in reach for the Cards, making five saves. With less than three minutes to play in the first half, the Cards were awarded their first penalty corner of the day. After the initial play was broken up by the Ephs’ defense, the Cardinals regained position and capitalized on their lone shot of the half. Lauren Yue ’17 centered to Tierney Behles ’18, who netted the ball for her first collegiate goal, knotting the score at one to end the first half of play. The next 35 minutes were lined up to be a thrilling game of field hockey.

“I think we played a lot better in the second half than we did in the first,” said Captain Hannah Plappert ’16. “It’s a shame we weren’t able to set the pace of the game right off the bat.”

The Cardinals looked to pick up where they left off at the start of the second half. After 20 seconds of play, Plappert had the chance to give the Cards their first lead of the day, but her shot sailed just wide of the net. Less than five minutes later, the Ephs slowed the Cardinals’ momentum by retaking the lead on their first shot of the half. However, the Cardinals would not fall quietly. For the next 12 minutes, the Cardinals dominated the game, outshooting the Ephs 4-2 and taking three penalty corners, while the Ephs only had one. Although the Cardinals had their chances, the difference was the Ephs made theirs count. Both shots the Ephs took resulted in goals, giving them a three-goal cushion that they would maintain for the rest of the game. Despite outshooting the Ephs 11-5 in the second half, the Cards were unable to convert.

“Everyone was really upset about the loss,” Plappert said. “But seeing that everyone was so disappointed is a good sign [because] it shows that we’re all really passionate about the game and that we expect a lot out of this season.”

With five games remaining on the schedule, four of which are against NESCAC opponents, the Cardinals hope to move up in the standings. They are currently seventh in the NESCAC, but with three of their four upcoming NESCAC opponents ranked above them, the Cardinals have the potential to gain ground in the rankings.

“We need to focus on being a team, not just individuals,” Howard said. “I believe that if we can go back to the basics of field hockey and have fun playing this sport that we all love, we will get back on course and find success.”

The Cardinals’ first opportunity comes on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 6 p.m., when the Cardinals return to Smith Field to host their last out-of-conference game against UMass Dartmouth.

“We’re leaving everything out on the field these last few games,” Plappert said. “Saturday was a reality check for us; we only get so many games and so many opportunities. We’re going to make every minute count.”

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