Field Hockey | Rare blowout win makes it 11 straight for Jumbos
Yogerst earns first career hat trick
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 08:10
After battling through tight game after tight game, the No. 8 field hockey team got a breath of fresh air on Wednesday with a 5−0 victory over Bates. The Jumbos took out their offensive frustrations on the Bobcats, with junior forward Chelsea Yogerst scoring twice in the first six minutes to set the tone before finishing things up with a second−half goal for an impressive hat trick, as the Jumbos tallied their 11th straight victory.
Tufts improved to 11−1 and is in a position to climb even further up the national rankings. And with just two NESCAC contests remaining in their regular season schedule, the Jumbos, who are now tied for second in the conference standings, hope to make a push for the No. 2 seed in the NESCAC Championship.
On Tuesday, Tufts jumped out early when Yogerst found space on a corner attempt. She redirected a pass from junior midfielder Stephanie Wan and pushed it past Bates junior goalkeeper Becca Otley for a 1−0 advantage.
“We put on the offensive pressure right away which led us to get a corner almost immediately,” Yogerst said. “Stephanie made a great pass to me from the outside to the middle of the circle which allowed me to get a quick shot off.”
Yogerst struck again less than three minutes later, this time securing her own rebound and knocking it in just over six minutes into the game.
“I think scoring so early made a statement that we’re not taking the NESCAC games lightly and that we were ready to step up as a team right away,” Yogerst said. “As a unit, we were focusing on making smart passes and using our speed to open up space.
The Jumbos continued to play strong defense at the other end, shutting down a Bates penalty corner opportunity when sophomore keeper Brianna Keenan stepped up to make a save on Bobcats sophomore forward Caroline Falcone.
As Tufts returned the ball to the offensive end, senior co−captain forward Lia Sagerman took four consecutive penalty corner strikes, with the redirections going just wide each time. Finally, senior forward Missy Carp followed through on a pass from freshman forward Hannah Park, finding the back of the cage to give the Jumbos a 3−0 advantage less than 20 minutes in.
“[On Wednesday], we knew we needed to come out with high energy,” Sagerman said. “This past week we worked a lot on shooting and capitalizing on our chances in the circle, so we took what we’ve been working on in practice and executed successfully versus Bates.”
For the remainder of the opening half, Tufts continued to pressure. Four different Jumbos got shots off in the closing minutes of the first 35. Meanwhile, Keenan stepped up to make another big save and preserve the shutout.
“Bates had really strong, hard hits, so it was crucial that our defense stepped up to intercept and block all of those passes,” Yogerst said. “They stayed extremely composed and made sure to break up the play as early as possible, so that Bates had few chances to get it inside our defensive zones.”
After the intermission, Bates hoped to come out strong and redirect the pace of the game. The Jumbos, however, had a different plan. With junior Katie Stuntz taking over in goal for Keenan, Tufts continued to ramp up its play.
It took just one minute for Wan and Yogerst to connect again. Yogerst polished off her third goal of the game, and seventh of the season, to extend the Jumbos’ lead to four.
“The goal early on made it clear that we were not going to let up in the second half and that we were going to continue to elevate our play for the last 35 minutes,” Yogerst said. “The team was really clicking throughout and the amount of goals we scored were the result of everything coming together.”
Bates had its best chance just minutes later, when Yogerst was whistled for a green card, giving the Bobcats a man advantage, but Falcone’s shot went just wide. In the following minutes, aggressive play on both sides led to several green cards, but neither team managed to break through until junior midfielder Emily Cannon put through the final goal of the game at the 55:38 mark.
The 5−0 shutout marked Tufts’ highest goal production this season, and was just the second time that the Jumbos have won by more than one goal. Keenan and Stuntz, who didn’t have to make a single save, combined for the Jumbos’ fifth shutout of the season and their fourth straight.