Field Hockey Relies on Offense

Lose to Northeastern, Bounce Back to Defeat Davidson

The women’s field hockey team had a trying weekend beginning this past Friday. The Hawks faced Northeastern University on Friday, Sept. 19 where they fell short 2-0, but made a statement on Sunday, Sept. 21 when they defeated the Davidson University Wildcats 3-1.

After coming off of a loss on Sept. 14 at the hands of Old Dominion, the Hawks were determined to make a statement.

Although Northeastern walked away with the win on Friday, the Hawks beat the Huskies in saves while two freshmen, goalkeeper Tanja Kloock and midfielder Lauren Fried, made their collegiate debuts.

While MU did not execute on goal, there were many exciting opportunities. Freshman forward Meg Donahue came close to cage when Northeastern goalkeeper, Becky Garner, saved the ball at the baseline just ten minutes into the first half.

Junior midfielder Cori Allen powered through the circle during a first half. However, she was also denied by Garner.

The last hope for the Hawks during the first half came from midfielder grad student Trish O’Dwyer, but her shot was blocked once again. MU senior goalkeeper Amanda Westerweller outsaved the Huskies goaltender, 7-5, allowing the offensive various opportunities. Even though Westerweller attempted to give her team an edge, Northeastern’s defense held the Hawks for 35 minutes without giving them a corner in the second half. With only three shots on goal in the second half, the Hawks were outnumbered and outscored 2-0.

Things could only improve on Sunday when the Hawks faced the Davidson Wildcats on So Sweet A Cat Field. Seeking redemption, the Hawks came out on fire. In the first nine minutes of play, sophomore midfielder Alyssa Ercolino crossed the ball to senior forward Amanda Schoenfeld for a goal. Minutes later, the Hawks struck again hitting the pads hard for a rebounded shot. O’Dwyer dumped it off to Ercolino who took advantage of an empty net. The Hawks sealed the victory with a perfect corner at the 17 minute mark of the first half. Ercolino inserted to O’Dwyer to earn O’Dwyer her 37th career goal.

The Davidson Wildcats came to play in the second half proving it more difficult to maintain the Hawk’s lead. In the 60th minute, Katherine English put the Wildcats on the board, making the score 3-1. In her first collegiate start, MU’s Kloock remained strong in goal along with the rest of the young MU defensive unit.

At the end, the Hawks not only outscored their opponent, but crushed in both defensive and offensive statistics. MU’s corners more than tripled those of Davidson’s, 17-5, giving them ample opportunities to maintain high offensive pressure. The Hawk’s offense outshot the Wildcats 23-7 as well. MU head coach Carli Figlio and her team could not have been happier with the direction of Sunday’s performance.

The Hawks turned on a switch after Friday’s match up and saw things in a new light. Regarding the outcomes of Friday versus Sunday, Ercolino said, “We really focused this week on getting more attacking corners, executing on them and working on stepping up in the press to mess the other team up.”

And that they did. Ercolino and the MU offense were hungry on Sunday, shown alone through Ercolino’s stats on the day. Schoenfeld and O’Dwyer carried Ercolino and the rest of the Hawk’s offense the way to victory.

Incidentally the Hawk’s defense found it contagious. Although almost entirely composed of freshmen, they worked together as though they have had three years of chemistry. “Our defense is really new but working really hard together and stepping up together,” Ercolino said. “We have three different goalies and each have had opportunities to play.”

MU continues its hunt for an even record next weekend when they host MAAC’s 4-5 Fairfield Stags, on Friday, Sept. 26 at 4 pm.

The Hawks will then meet Cornell Sunday, Sept. 28 at 1 pm on So Sweet A Cat Field and will finish their five game home stand on Saturday, Oct. 4 at 1 pm against Michigan State.