Field hockey endured the flood-warning inducing rains on Tuesday night to face No. 3 Tufts in their fourth game in 10 days. But before that near natural disaster, Bowdoin, Mount Holyoke, and Bates all challenged the Cards to play their best field hockey. Though the results were mixed, with a 1-3 record over the span, the team remains optimistic for their continued improvement.
This latest stretch started as the Bowdoin Polar Bears came to Middletown. The Polar Bears were undefeated on the season and likely came into the game with confidence knowing that Wes has not scored a goal on them since 2013. Unfortunately, the streak was not broken this year.
Wesleyan started the game off right as Nikki Gerjarusak ’21 created a scoring opportunity eight minutes in to the game. Gerjarusak made her way into the Bowdoin circle, forcing Bowdoin’s goalkeeper to defend her line. Minutes later, Bowdoin started to pick up their offense. After seven shots, Bowdoin’s Emma Stevens found the back of the cage, and two minutes later found it again to make the score 2-0.
Bowdoin maintained its offensive power throughout the game, but Wesleyan’s defense held strong and did not allow any more goals. Still, they were unable to convert their strong defense into offensive opportunities. The Polar Bears outshot the Cards 21-7, an imbalance Wes has struggled to fix in many of its games this year. Bowdoin’s two goals in the first half proved to be all they would need to come out on top.
Next, the Cardinals secured their third victory of the season against Mount Holyoke. The first period ended with Wes up 3-0, and the team entered the second period a bit too comfortable with its their lead. 10 minutes in, Mount Holyoke’s Kass Lawrence scored two back-to-back goals to give the Cards a scare, cutting the lead to 3-2. Olivia Baglieri ’22 gave her team some breathing room in the final 20 minutes of play with a goal that stretched the lead to 4-2. The teams traded shots back and forth for the remainder of the game with neither team finding success, and the game ended as a 4-2 victory for the Cards.
The team’s next challenge was up in Maine for a game against Bates. The Bobcats overcame their slow start to the season to earn their first victory. The game started with each team scoring a goal within the first three minutes of the game. Bates earned a 2-1 advantage later in the first period, which was countered after a penalty corner from Rachel Pomeranz ’21 found its way into the goal via Baglieri.
Both teams fended each other off until Bates found another gap in Wesleyan’s defense late in the second period. They would score three more goals, unanswered by Wes, to end the game with a 5-2 victory.
Finally, the Red and Black traveled to play against the undefeated Tufts Jumbos. The Jumbos quickly made it clear why they are currently ranked third in NCAA DIII, as they scored just over four minutes in and did not slow down. Tufts went on to score six goals in the first half and two more in the second, while not allowing Wes to score any, to take away an 8-0 victory. Tufts dominated in shots taken, 31-2, with 21 of those on target, while none of the Cards’ were. Wesleyan goalkeeping had plenty of action to take care of, with Delaney Wood ’20, Caitlin Grant ’22, and Gabby Guzdek ’22 all seeing some time between the pipes. They collectively made 11 saves, with Grant making the most: five.
Again, the Cards were unable to find any offensive power. Tufts had them on their heels at the beginning, built a large lead quickly, and Wes was unable to respond. There’s still plenty of room and time for the Cardinals to improve this fall, which they will look to do in their coming games.
In fact, you can bring your family in on the excitement over family weekend with a field hockey game. The Red and Black will take on Hamilton College at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning with hopes of winning its first conference game of the season. Bring your mom, bring your dad, bring your step-sister, and bring your half-brother’s dog to what could be the most exciting event all weekend.
Rose Griffin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.