The Hawks’ field hockey team pulled off their most notable win of the season on Sunday, Sept. 29 in a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Delaware Blue Hens on So Sweet A Cat field.
“It was really important for us to win today, but it was more important for us to actually work hard for the 70 minutes just to prove that we can do it as a team,” said MU head coach Carli Figlio. “If we just listen to the small things and organize our self on the field, we can do anything we want this season.”
MU moved to 3-6 on the year with the win, while the Blue Hens fall to 6-3. Delaware had been ranked as highly as 16th nationally in the Penn Monto/NFHCA polls. Their two previous losses were to ranked opponents (No.4 Penn State and No. 13 Boston).
“We knew we had tough competition in front of us, so we knew we had to come out harder than we ever have,” said junior Amanda Schoenfeld.
The Hawks notched the first goal of the game 20 minutes in when freshman Alyssa Ercolino sent in a corner that connected with the stick of senior Alex Carroll. Carroll then sent the ball to fellow senior Trish O’Dwyer who fired a shot past Delaware goalie Sarah Scher. MU was able to hold onto the lead going into half with the help of a great sliding save by junior goalkeeper Amanda Westerweller that redirected the shot off the left frame of the goal.
MU held the lead until five minutes into the second half when Delaware’s Kasey Prettyman delivered a pass to Esmee Peet. Peet was able to get her shot just above the outstretched right leg of MU’s Westerweller to bring the game to a tie.
The Hawks and Blue Hens then traded possession continuously until the 46th minute of the game when the Hawks started to apply pressure with multiple shot attempts. MU was able to force back-to-back corners, but was not able to pull ahead after a couple of beautiful saves by Delaware’s Sarah Scher.
“We knew this was our game. We just had the mentality that we were going to finish it and we were going to win,” said Schoenfeld.
With 21 minutes remaining, the Hawks were able to break the tie when junior Hannah Loux sent a beautiful pass to the middle of the field where Schoenfeld didn’t hesitate in sending a rocket past Scher to give MU the lead.
“She’s (Schoenfeld) been fantastic for us,” said Figlio. “She’s really a product of hard work. She’s made herself into a great hockey player.”
The goal was Schoenfeld’s third in the past three games and her fourth of the season. “My teammates have been helping me by getting the ball up the field allowing me to score in the circle. It’s been a complete team effort,” said Schoenfeld. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”
The Blue Hens almost tied it again when a shot from Peet went slightly right of the goal with 16 minutes left in the game. After the near miss, MU was able to control the ball and the clock. The Hawks were close to extending the lead when Loux got a shot past Scher, but it clanked off the right post.
MU was able to garner three more corners in the last four minutes to kill the clock and secure the upset.
“We want to progress from here and take steps forward,” said Schoenfeld. “We want to recognize what we did right and keep doing it and fix what we did wrong in practice.”
The Hawks were outshot 16-10 on the day, but the Hawks played stingy defense and Westerweller was able to come up with eight saves. MU had eight penalty corners on the day, while the Blue Hens had five.
“We credit this game to 100 percent effort,” said Figlio. “We stressed it from the beginning of the game to the last minute, it was just pure effort.”
Looking forward, the Hawks have yet to participate in interleague play in their new division, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), but they still have a difficult schedule ahead.
They will next face a daunting task when they travel north on Sunday, Oct. 6 to take on the No. 5 ranked Syracuse Orange. The Orange’s record is 8-1.
FILE PHOTO COURTESY of Jim Reme