“Win” was the word of the weekend for UR field hockey as the team earned two consecutive victories against the Vassar College Brewers on Friday and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday. The pair of wins boost the Yellowjackets to a 2-0 record in Liberty League play, 5-3 overall.
Friday’s game against the Brewers remained tied, 0-0, through the first 37 minutes of play.
“At half-time, Coach Andre told us the first goal would be the hardest goal we had to score all weekend, then it would just come easy and that’s how it was,” sophomore and goalie Rachel Cahan said. “Once we scored on Vassar, we just kept scoring.”
The game burst open two minutes into the second half with an unstoppable shot netted by junior Krista Butler and assisted by junior and co-captain Mary DiMatteo. Senior Courtney Nussbaum soon followed suit at time 44:81 with her own goal, unassisted.
Less than six minutes later, DiMatteo offered her second assist of the game to freshman Natalie Mroczka, who put one through the goalie’s legs from three yards out to score her first of the season and UR’s third of the game.
With only 10 minutes remaining in the half, junior and co-captain Heidi Davies scored the last Yellowjacket goal to allow UR to pick up the win with a 4-0 shutout. Throughout the 70 minutes of play, the Yellowjackets dominated on offense as they out-shot their opponents 19-5.
“We took care of the ball and constantly kept it in our attacking end,” Andre said, adding that the team’s performance on Friday and Saturday could also be attributed to line up changes, as well as offensive drills and constant play during practice.
“The drills certainly helped us with both our wins this weekend, as well as our desire to play well,” Davies said. “Our game against Utica College was unfortunate – however, it gave us a very important wake-up call and I feel that we responded very well.”
Defensively, the team remained strong as always. Cahan totaled three saves against the Brewers and denied the RPI Red Hawks another three. The only goal of the weekend to be scored on the Yellowjackets was netted early in Saturday’s game by an RPI freshman.
UR seemed untroubled by the early deficit and responded to the goal with increased offensive pressure, coming back in a spectacular fashion.
First half play ended with momentum in the Yellowjackets’ favor following a goal scored by junior Revay Wilson just before the whistle. In the middle of the second half, the Yellowjacket victory was sealed with a goal by Davies.
“We basically just concentrated on playing our game,” Andre said of Saturday’s come-from-behind victory.
“We came ready to play and did what we needed to do,” DiMatteo said.
After the double victory this weekend, the team is looking forward to what promises to be a competitive game against William Smith College on Sept. 28.
“Wednesday will be a very skillful, physical and emotional game,” Andre said. “But if we do what we did this weekend and improve on that, Wednesday will be a win.”
The Yellowjackets will play under the lights at Fauver Stadium on Wednesday, and then face Hartwick College, away, on Saturday.
Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.