UR field hockey’s best season in the last decade ended last Saturday in the semi-finals of the New York State field hockey tournament at the hands of the Bombers of Ithaca College. It was the first time the Yellowjackets competed in the tournament in nearly eleven years.

UR earned a chance to play in the finals by defeating SUNY Oswego 1-0, the previous Saturday. The Yellowjackets liked their chances versus Ithaca, since they defeated the Bombers in a hard fought contest earlier in the season. However, the Bombers literally hit their target early and often in the semi-finals, scoring three decisive goals to open the game. UR finally got on the scoreboard with a goal by sophomore forward Ashley Kahan, on an assist by junior midefielder Shawnessy Dusseau with 15:10 left in the first half.

In the second half, freshman back Kathryn Harvey scored the second goal for UR, also assisted by Dusseau, but this was only after the game for all intensive purposes was finished. Ithaca had already scored the insurance goal with a penalty stroke, and came away victorious 4-2. UR outshot Ithaca, despite coming up short on the scoreboard.

“We picked it up and played better in the second half with the two goals, but it just wasn’t enough for the win. It was a tough loss because we had beaten them earlier in the season,” team captain senior Nicole Ketterer said. The following day, UR played Elmira College in the consolation game. At halftime, there was no score on either side, and only six total shots on goal. Elmira put the pressure on in the second half and scored two goals, one on a penalty stroke, and took the consolation 2-0.

The Yellowjackets finished the season ranked 4th in the state with a 12-10 record, which ties the school’s single-season win record set back in 1985. At the end of the match against Elmira, Shawnessy Dusseau and Ashley Kahan were named to the All-Tournament Team from UR, which is given to players who exhibit exceptional play during the tournament.

“Ashley played really well and helped out the team, she put in a few goals. Shawnessy was exceptional at midfield, improving the team’s overall offense and defense and getting a lot of plays going from the defensive end of the field to the offensive end of the field. Both of them stuck to the ball and made good shots,” Ketterer said.

Despite UR’s winless weekend, the team felt good about what they had accomplished on the way home. The entire team showed tremendous progress throughout the season, played with intensity up to and through the playoffs and accomplished all of the goals they had set out from the beginning of the season, Ketterer said.

UR field hockey was one of the most successful Yellowjacket teams of the fall season. This is a feat that seemed unlikely at the start of the season, especially since it was coach Andre’s first year as UR head coach. She instilled a new system at the beginning of the year, and once the team became used to it they produced their best results in over a decade.

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