Field Hockey | Field Hockey looks to continue winning streak on Homecoming
Victory at UNE springboards team into Amherst matchup
Published: Friday, September 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012 08:09
After dropping its first game of the season, the No. 13 field hockey team has hit its stride, and won its sixth straight game this Wednesday in a 3−1 victory against the visiting University of New England (UNE).
Junior Emily Cannon, who led the conference in points last week, got things started once again for the Jumbos Wednesday. The midfielder, who was named the NESCAC’s Player of the Week after scoring three goals and two assists in a five−day span, notched another assist early in Wednesday’s contest when she tapped a pass out on a corner from senior co−captain forward Lia Sagerman to sophomore midfielder Maggie Chapman.
Chapman took the knock−on in stride, slamming a low shot past UNE sophomore keeper Kaitlyn Warren and into the back of the cage. The Jumbos, who are 6−0 when they score first, were out on top again.
“We scored that one on a corner,” Chapman said. “It came out on top to Emily; she was able to get it to me and I got a good shot in on the ground that went between the goalie’s feet.”
Then, senior co−captain midfielder Rachel Gerhardt’s shot took an unlucky hop, catching the post, but the Jumbos managed to double their lead soon after when Sagerman controlled the ball and sent it across to classmate and forward Kelsey Perkins, who notched her third goal of the season to double the lead just over 13 minutes into the match.
“It really gives us a lot more energy and allows us to get off to a positive note whenever we score first in a game,” freshman midfielder Alexandra Jamison said. “Going up first gives us a lot of confidence going forward in the game.”
The Jumbos failed to add to their lead for the remainder of the half, but entered the intermission up by two after outshooting the Nor’easters by a 15−3 margin.
In the second half, Tufts head coach Tina McDavitt, confident in her team’s lead, elected to play some of the Jumbos’ younger and less experienced players, hoping to give them some in−game experience and time to mesh with the starting unit.
The Nor’easters capitalized on the change of personnel, upping their intensity to turn the pressure on the Jumbos’ defense. Just a minute into the second half, UNE junior quad−captain Casey Clark charged the cage and connected with fellow quad−captain Hayley LaPointe, who bested junior keeper Katie Stuntz to pull UNE within one.
Following the goal, the Jumbos tightened up their defense and returned to the offensive. Relying on their aggressive style of play, they relentlessly peppered Warren with shots, coming through when Cannon found Sagerman on the inside.
“We knew that we had been dominating the game, so it was just a matter of regaining our composure and finding our stick−to−stick passing,” Chapman said.
Sagerman, experienced around the cage, didn’t hesitate, sending a lift shot past Warren to extend the Jumbos’ lead back to two. For the remainder of the contest, Tufts kept the ball in UNE’s defensive end and didn’t allow the Nor’easters a single penalty corner opportunity.
When the whistle finally blew, Tufts claimed the 3−1 victory. The Jumbos completed a dominant performance, their fourth win in eight days.
“We had a lot of really good stick−to−stick passing,” Jamison said. “When we were taking it out of the backfield, we always knew where we were passing rather than hitting it blindly, so we were able to connect really well.”
Sophomore Brianna Keenan and Stuntz split time for the Jumbos between the pipes. Keenan, who started the game, made three stops in the first half, while Stuntz wrapped up the contest, allowing one goal and making a stop of her own. Meanwhile, the UNE goaltender Warren was forced to make 15 saves in defeat.
“Both of our goalkeepers are really strong, so no matter who’s playing we trust both of our goalies and feel comfortable having them back there,” Jamison said.
The Jumbos, currently third in the NESCAC with a 3−1 conference record, will host Amherst, who sits at 2−1, for Saturday’s Homecoming contest.
“We’re really excited for another big game,” Chapman said. “We’re focusing on coming out with a lot of energy like we did versus Trinity, and really finishing on every opportunity. If we can win this one, it puts us in a great position going into the home stretch of the season and sets us up well for the postseason.”