It looks like last week was a struggle for all of us, including the field hockey team. The Cards lost three more contests, as the team was unable to stop its five-game skid. NESCAC competitors Hamilton, Trinity, and Colby all defeated Wes in three close games, as they near the final weeks of the regular season.
First, Hamilton came to town to join in on the Family Weekend festivities, and they did not make it easy for the Cards to show off for their families. The game went back and forth in the beginning, but the Continentals started to warm up about 10 minutes in. From there, they continuously attacked the Cards’ defense. Goalkeeper Delaney Wood ’20 made 10 saves in the first 25 minutes of the game.
Soon after this stretch of Continental domination, Nikki Gerjarusak ’21 took advantage of a penalty corner from Rachel Pomerantz ’20, tapping a ball from Olivia Baglieri ’22 into the cage. With 10 minutes left in the first half, the Cards were up 1-0.
Wood continued to act as a wall in front of the cage in the second half. The Hamilton offense must have been growing frustrated as shot after shot was blocked by the Cards’ goalkeeper. Unfortunately, Wood could not hold out forever, though she came close. In the 55th minute, the Continentals tied the game at one. Wesleyan had two more good chances on two Pomerantz penalty corners just minutes later, but they could not find the back of the cage.
With just over 10 minutes left in the game and a tie score, both teams were desperate for any small advantage they could get. Hamilton found just that with 55 seconds to go. Hamilton’s Sarah Pierpont crossed the ball to her teammate Michaela Guittari at the back post, who found an opening and took it to give her team the 2-1 lead, and a victory.
After the disappointing loss to Hamilton, the team welcomed Trinity to Smith Field. The Bantams are currently ranked 18th in NCAA Division III field hockey, so the Red and Black were prepared for a challenge. Trinity showed the Cards how they earned their national ranking by scoring just over a minute in to give them an early 1-0 lead. Wes showed some energy in response with a promising breakaway from Colleen Carrigan ’22, though it was shut down by the Bantam’s goalkeeper Lori Berger. Trinity scored once more this period, earning a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
The second period starting with a promising Pomerantz penalty corner, but Baglieri was just off target with her shot. Trinity took the momentum back moments later, scoring a third goal. Wes picked up the pace for the remainder of the game, taking six more shots and denying Trinity’s attempted attacks. The Cards seemed to lose their edge in the final minutes of the game, as the Bantams added one more tally to the scoreboard.
Despite an unfavorable result, the team was excited by how they competed with such a well ranked team, especially in regards to how the team has grown this season.
To end the week, the team took a weekend getaway to Maine, visiting Colby for another competitive game. Once there, the Cards did not wait around to admire the fall foliage, and instead got right to scoring goals. Again the Cards struck first, as Gerjarusak made an unassisted goal to open up the first period. The rest of the first half was evenly matched, as the teams traded shots and saves to head into the intermission with the Red and Black ahead 1-0.
Colby came out in the second period swinging, as a penalty corner just four minutes in found its way behind Wood to the back of the cage, netting the score at 1-1. The teams continued to match each other well as the second period went on, with neither team having a clear edge over the other for more than a few moments. With time winding down, the Red and Black again struggled to maintain their energy, which the Mules used to their advantage. With 40 seconds left in the game, Colby took a 2-1 lead. Baglieri made a desperate attempt to send the game into overtime as the final buzzer sounded, but Colby goalkeeper Riley Whitmyer denied her shot. Again, the Cards saw their initial lead and hopes for an end to their losing streak dashed in the final minutes of a game.
This week, the Cards will get a chance end their losing streak with a matchup against Wheaton College today, Oct. 9. Then, they’ll face off against Williams on Saturday afternoon. A victory against the Ephs would be the team’s first NESCAC win of the year, and an important win if the team still hopes to make it into the playoffs.
Rose Griffin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.