Field Hockey Earns Jumbo-Sized Victory
Issue   |   Wed, 10/05/2011 - 02:27
Photo courtesy of Megan Robertson '15
Stephanie Clegg '12 anchored a strong defensive effort against Tufts.

In perhaps the most exciting week so far for the field hockey team, the Jeffs beat Mount Holyoke in overtime on Wednesday night and stole a win from Tufts on Saturday afternoon.

On Wednesday, the Jeffs traveled to South Hadley and returned with a 4-3 victory, following a suspenseful overtime period. After a scoreless first half, Alex Philie ’14 got things started by converting a penalty corner into the team’s first goal, fed by Katie McMahon ’13. Mt. Holyoke answered minutes later when Shara Robertson scored on another corner.

The lead shifted once again when Carly Dudzik ’12 ripped a shot off from the top of the circle on a penalty corner, McMahon assisting once again. Sophomore Krista Zsitvay padded the team’s lead with her seventh goal of the season, assisted by Philie, with 18:56 left in regulation.

While Amherst appeared to have things in control, two quick Holyoke goals with only minutes left in regulation made the game a little more exciting. Stephanie Slysz and Jess Fajardo delivered a goal each to send the game into overtime.
It was McMahon who ended things with a sudden-death, unassisted goal at time 8:26. “Everyone stayed positive,” McMahon commented, “We played together until the very last seconds of the game.”

Amherst’s defense surrendered only five penalty corners to their opponents, while the Jeffs collected 21. First-year goalie Rachel Tannenbaum improved to 5-1, contributing two saves on the day.

Later in the week, a rainy Saturday afternoon didn’t distract the Jeffs from taking a big 3-1 win from ninth-ranked Tufts. Notably, the Jeffs broke a significant scoreless streak against Tufts, scoring three times against a team that had denied them any goals since 2007.

Ellie Andersen ’15 tacked on the team’s first goal at time 20:12, assisted by Zsitvay. Sarah Canning ’14 contributed the second goal in the 52nd minute, assisted by Philie. Fifteen minutes later, Carly Dudzik ’12 drilled a pass from McMahon into the back of the net to put the score at 3-0.

While the game appeared to be coming to a definitive close, Tufts’ Taylor Dyer took advantage of a penalty stroke with only minutes left in regulation to make the score 3-1. Tufts fought until the end, including a penalty corner scare with only 30 seconds to go. But Dudzik made an impressive diving defensive save to prevent the Tufts goal and put the game in the books.

The Jeffs looked to Tannenbaum for another clutch performance. While Tufts out-shot Amherst 18-8, Tannenbaum’s six saves kept the Jeffs in the game. Dudzik was ecstatic about the upset victory, explaining that “Saturday’s win was huge for us.”

“It was a total team effort and we could not be more excited to enter Friday’s game against Williams with this win under our belt,” she said.

McMahon also looks ahead to the week’s preparation for Friday’s game. On the topic of the ever-popular Williams matchup, she added, “Our longstanding rivalry gives us even more motivation to work hard in practice this week.”

The Jeffs will travel to Williamstown on Friday, hoping to improve on their current record of 6-1 (4-1 NESCAC).