UR Field Hockey is off to another auspicious start, running a 5–1 record to start the season, and ranking 16th in a Division III coaches poll prior to winning both games this week. They have been strong on offense and have thrived on defense, averaging 3.17 scored and 0.83 allowed goals per game.
On Wednesday, the ‘Jackets traveled to play The College At Brockport. Senior attacker Claire Dickerson opened the scoring at 8:40 on a rebound in front of the net, her fourth game-winning goal this year. Junior attackers Midway through the half, Nancy Bansbach and Jessica Brandon scored within 91 seconds of each other. Bansbach’s goal was deflected in off an assist from senior midfielder Olivia Denny, and a penalty corner combination from Denny to junior defender Courtney Dunham led to Brandon tipping in her shot at the right post.
The first half was dominated by the Yellowjackets. They outshot the Golden Eagles (1–5) 19–0, and had a 10–0 edge in penalty corners attempted. Dunham resumed the scoring in the 46th minute, lofting a shot in off an assist from sophomore midfielder Maya Haigis. Brandon scored again at 50:57 from the left side, and sophomore attacker Amanda Guido capped off the scoring at 52:54, netting it in from the center circle. In goal, seniors Kiran Sundaram and Gabrielle Cantley played the entirety of the first and second halves, respectively, and faced only one shot between them, which was stopped by Cantley.
After facing Brockport, ranked 139th of 163 Division III teams in Kenneth Massey’s online ratings, the ‘Jackets hosted SUNY New Paltz, ranked 77th, at Fauver Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It took the ‘Jackets just 1:13 to score, as Bansbach tipped in a long shot from sophomore midfielder Colleen Maillie. But despite attempting 23 shots in the first half, with 17 of them on target, they didn’t score again in the half, as New Paltz goalkeeper Megan Gangwere averaged nearly a save every two minutes, collecting 16 total.
Still, UR entered the second half with the lead, but the Hawks (2–4) knotted the game in the 44th minute when Kaitlyn Gunter scored on a scramble, and took the lead at 51:27 when Samantha Ackerman tapped a shot in off of a penalty corner.
The ‘Jackets took a timeout to regroup after that. Then, ten minutes later, they tied the game back up, when Maillie scored from the left wing. In the 66th minute, Dickerson hitting a promising shot, which was saved and deflected to Brandon, who missed narrowly, hitting the post.
With no scoring in the next four minutes, the game headed to overtime. Just a minute into the extra period, Dickerson got another chance, taking her 11th shot on goal of the day, lifting one past Gangwere’s reach. It was her fourth game-winner of the season.
Gangwere still managed to stop an impressive 26 of 29 shots on goal for New Paltz, but it was simply not enough to make up for UR’s 43–6 shot advantage on the game.
“Our game was filled with intensity from the very start to the overtime goal that ended the game” said Bansbach. “We knew they were a tough, hard working team that would never give up, so we had to come out with fire and get the job done early on. I think starting with that relentless mentality allowed us to secure a goal within the first 2 minutes of play.”
The ‘Jackets will look to keep up their strong play this Tuesday at 6 p.m. when they host SUNY Cortland back at Fauver Stadium.