By Dominic Rapposelli
Business and Distribution Manager
Washington College field hockey fell in their third straight contest against ranked opponents. Their most recent loss came at the hands of Catholic University’s squad, ranked twenty-second in Division III.
Catholic scored the first and only goal in the third quarter of play. The two teams showcased solid defensive play, allowing just ten shots between them.
The Shorewomen spent a large part of the second and third quarters in Cardinal territory, showing an improvement in offensive play. Several close shots from senior Alexis Tackney kept the game interesting late.
“I felt like we have been getting better every day and keeping the score so close in our past game shows that,” Tackney said. “Our team has been working really hard to put up a fight against these tough teams.”
The teams also were close in the shots and penalty corners differential. The Shorewomen took five shots while taking seven penalty corners, compared to the Cardinal’s five shots and six penalty corners.
The defense continued their positive performance in the contest as well. Freshman Natalie Watkinson applauded the team’s tenacity during these tough contests. “I think in the past three games, we’ve played with lots of intensity and grit against the ranked teams,” Watkinson said.
The defense put pressure on the Cardinal offensive throughout the contest, showing great conditioning and the ability to repeatedly stonewall their opponent. Watkinson praised the team’s offseason work for their conditioning against not just Catholic, but their other ranked adversaries.
“We work very hard in preseason and even in the summer and offseason to be able to compete at the highest level,” Watkinson said. “If a game is back-and-forth, and pretty scoreless, it means both teams are very compelled to win and have that endurance to stay in the play.”
The Shorewomen ram the gauntlet of three consecutive ranked foes with three more being featured on the schedule once Centennial Conference play starts later this season. These ranked games serve as a litmus test for the squad as the season picks up speed
“We tend to challenge ourselves with ranked opponents at the beginning of our season to challenge ourselves and learn what needs to be improved on,” sophomore Samantha McMahon said.
Although falling to Catholic 1-0, the Shorewomen took their show on the road when they shut out Widener 1-0 on Sept. 16. A third quarter goal from sophomore Brynn Balliet featuring an assist from Tackney would separate the two teams in the contest.
McMahon credits the team’s adaptability for getting the offense moving.
“Learning to adapt and being able to utilize each other is the key to getting the ball in the net,” McMahon said.
WC sent eight shots away in the contest, compared to the Pride’s four. The Shorewomen also took eight penalty corners to the home team’s singular attempt. Winning that differential is positive for a team who is looking to learn from their past games.
The Shorewomen return home Wednesday, Sept. 20 for their last non-conference game against Gwynedd Mercy University. Centennial Conference play kicks off the following Saturday, Sept. 23, when the Shorewomen travel to Franklin and Marshall College.
Photo courtesy of WC Athletics
Photo Caption: Sophomore midfielder Brynn Balliet pushes past defenders to score.