On Friday, UR field hockey took a tough 3-1 loss to the number two team in the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association, St. Lawrence University. The game started off well for the Yellowjackets, when they took a 1-0 lead over the Saints 25 minutes into the first half. This was the only goal that UR would score in the contest. Junior forward Kaitlin Poeth took a pass from junior midfielder Jen Knipe and put the ball past St. Lawrence’s goalie.
Unfortunately, the Yellowjackets lost their momentum when, only minutes later, the Saints tied the score at one apiece, and kept rolling when they tipped in a second goal with only minutes left in the first half. At halftime the game was close, with UR trailing 2-1. “We played well the first 25 minutes of the game. We got caught on our heels, and allowed the two goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half,” head coach Michelle Andre said.
After the break, both teams came out aggressive, filling the second half with aggression and excitement. The UR defense had their moments to shine, but could not keep up with the Saints’ attack. St. Lawrence scored once more, adding insurance to their lead. The final goal came after 17 minutes of the second half. The game closed with continual attacks by both teams, but to no avail. The final score was 3-1 in favor of St. Lawrence, resulting in the Yellowjackets’ eighth loss of the season.
“The team was disappointed in the loss because they know they did not do the simple things that have allowed them to be successful the second half of this season and the first half of the game. Brenna Simons had a great weekend defensively. She played with patience and poise and stopped their best attacker numerous times,” said Andre.
In their final regular season game UR faced Hamilton College. The team played a strong game and came out on top with a solid 2-0 victory. The game was tight until sophomore forward Ashley Kahan put in the eventual game winning goal in the 26th minute, putting UR on top 1-0. Minutes later, senior forward Nicole Ketterer gave the team additional breathing room when she put in UR’s second goal off of an assist by Kahan.
“The team knew what they had to do. They knew Hamilton was going to play us hard and they did. We came out and dominated the entire game but were having trouble finishing putting the ball in the cage. We managed two goals but the team knows they should have had more. It was a solid team effort and a solid team win overall,” Andre said.
Despite this being Andre’s first year as UR’s coach, she has managed to lead the team somewhere they have not been in ten years, a chance to be in the playoffs. The team has not been to the playoffs since the 1992 team made it with an identical 11-8 record. The team will get the call Sunday night to find out whether or not they will be playing in the New York state tournament.
At this point things are looking good, and the team is gearing up to go. Practice will continue all this week, with particular work on small games of defense and attack and shooting the ball. “We are really excited about having our first look at the playoffs in so long. We owe a lot of it to the seniors who have worked so hard all year and to our new coach. We are practicing hard all week and we will be ready for the call on Sunday,” said Kahan. The team certainly is not guaranteed a spot in the state tournament, but if they get one, they will be ready.
Berkowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.