If you haven’t paid any attention to UR athletics in recent days, it’s a good time to start. The men’s and women’s tennis teams are red-hot, the cross-country programs continue to propel themselves upward in the regional and national rankings and football gave St. John Fisher College quite a scare in the final Courage Bowl, a week after winning their home opener. And that’s just to name a few highlights.
Perhaps the greatest feel-good story on campus belongs to the women’s field hockey team, which roared to the program’s best start in history as they bested visiting Union College, 3-1 this past Saturday, Sept. 15. The win was the seventh straight for the home team, which advanced to 7-0 on the season and 1-0 in the Liberty League.
After a frustrating majority of the first half that saw the Yellowjackets outshoot the Dutchwomen, 12-3, yet have no goals to show for it, senior forward Shelby Hall finally fooled Union goalkeeper Molly McCune. In the 22nd minute, while a flurry of movement ensued near the Union net, Hall fired from a distance. McCune dived to deflect the save to the left endline, only to have the ball fall at the feet of senior defender Sarah Dixon. Dixon found Hall in the center near the goal and made a quick pass to her classmate. This time, Hall made the shot count, as she coolly put the ’Jackets up 1-0.
Fifteen minutes later, in what has become expected of the newcomer by teammates and opponents alike, freshman forward Michelle Relin made her tremendous offensive presence known by tallying her eighth goal of the season. The forward took a long shot from 12 yards out, giving her team some breathing room. Relin was later named Liberty League Rookie of the Week for the third week in a row.
The game was quiet for much of the second half, as solid defending dominated play on both sides of the field. The teams combined for just nine shots in the period, with neither finding the back of the net until Relin resurfaced to deal a second blow to the Dutchwomen’s morale. Hall launched a long pass from her team’s side of the field to Relin. Relin trapped the ball, broke away from the Union defenders and with a quick move buried it in the left corner of the net.
UR junior goalie Madison Wagner made five saves to notch her third shutout of the year, while McCune managed nine. The Yellowjackets travel to Geneva, N.Y. on Saturday, Sept. 22 to face No. 19 Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Bernstein is a member of the class of 2014.