The Hawks field hockey team (3-9) struggled to gather momentum heading into conference play with losses in both games this week at the hands of Rutgers University Scarlet Knights and St. Francis University Flash.
“I think it’s really important going into our conference play and now it’s important for us to really figure out what intensity level we want to play at,” said Head Coach Carli Figlio. “If we can figure that out, we’ll do really well in the conference, but that has to be our first priority now.”
MU took the field for the first time of the week on Wednesday at Rutgers and lost a heartbreaking game to the Scarlet Knights 4-3 in overtime.
Junior Hannah Loux had a three-point performance on the day including the first goal for the Hawks on the afternoon to tie the game early after a Rutgers goal from Sophie Wright. The game then remained scoreless until there was one minute left in the first half, and Loux was able to connect with junior Amanda Schoenfeld for a tip in goal that gave the Hawks the lead. The lead was not safe for long as Rutgers was able to respond within the minute when Katie Champion got a shot past junior goalie Amanda Westerweller to send it into half tied 2-2.
After half, Rutgers Rachel Yaney was able to break the tie just two minutes in when she fired a shot past Westerweller. It wasn’t until there were only ten minutes left on the clock when freshman Alyssa Ercolino made a pass to senior Alex Carroll that tied the game back up and eventually sent it to overtime.
Yaney was able to get the Scarlet Knights the victory in overtime when she gathered the ball in the circle and fired it in to give MU their eighth loss of the season.
“We have a ton of talented players,” said Coach Figlio. “It’s just more about the mindset that we have to figure out right now.”
Unlike the early offensive success the Hawks found against Rutgers, MU couldn’t put together any consistent offense in a 3-0 loss in their final non-conference game against Saint Francis.
“I honestly think we came out really flat,” said Figlio. “I think not being able to come out and play aggressively in the first five minutes definitely hurt our momentum.”
The Red Flash, who were coming off back-to-back wins, were able to strike early as they scored just nine minutes into the game when Autumn Pellman fired a low and hard line drive past Westerweller.
“I don’t think we had the best warm-up today, and we know how you practice is how you play,” said Carroll. “We started off very frantic, so we didn’t move the ball very well”
St. Francis was then able to get on the scoreboard again when Selena Adamshick scored with 17 minutes left in the half.
St. Francis was able to control possession for the majority of the game and limited the Hawks to just three shots on the afternoon. “Not being able to play together and hold possession of the ball definitely hurt us,” said Figlio. The Red Flash also held a considerably large lead (9-4) in corners on the day.
“I don’t think our focus was where it needed to be,” said Carroll. “When we played Delaware, we set goals and the focus just wasn’t the same this week.”
The third goal for St. Francis came from Pellman again ten minutes into the second half.
“We’re going to use this game as an example. We’re going to learn from this and move forward,” said Caroll.
Moving forward, Figlio said, “I think we just need to take it one game at a time. It’s important to focus on small goals to get us to the conference tournament.” Carroll simply stated, “Going into conference play, we just have to want to win. We just have to want to be champions.”
The Hawks six remaining games of the season are all against members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).
Currently, the Hawks are the only MAAC team who have not participated in interleague play, but the Hawks will begin theirstring of MAAC play as they face the Siena University Saints on Friday, Oct. 18 at 1:00 pm in Loudonville, NY. The team is 0-6 when on the road while the Saints are 0-4 at home.