Field hockey rocked the dark blue uniforms away from Fauver Stadium as they emerged from an intense, three-game weekend with a 2-2 record.

The Yellowjackets sandwiched a win against William Paterson University on Saturday, between close, 1-0 losses to both the undefeated Red Dragons of SUNY Cortland and the undefeated Red Hawks of Montclair State University.

The Yellowjackets were out-shot 34-2 by Cortland, but the efforts of sophomore and goalie Rachel Cahan and the UR defense allowed the Dragons to score only once, with a goal netted in heavy traffic from five yards out. Two days later, the Red Hawks managed to net only one in the second half, but were also held at only one goal for the remainder of the game.

“The two losses against Cortland and Montclair are of course very frustrating because the outcome could have easily gone the other way,” junior and captain Mary DiMatteo said.

Both Cortland and Montclair improved to a 4-0 record after this weekend, but the Pioneers of WPU suffered their first loss despite a home-field advantage. They fell to 2-1 overall.

Despite the two losses, Coach Michelle Andre remains positive about the team’s ability.

“Our last three games have been against very good hockey programs,” Andre said enthusiastically. “We have a lot of talent and this is a team ready to explode.”

Andre also offered praise for Cahan, who totaled 40 saves and allowed only four goals over the duration of the weekend.

“We are playing excellent defense and that will give us the ability to keep any game close,” Andre added.

“The short lapses [in defense] and our offense are things we will be focusing on in practice,” DiMatteo said. “It was good for us to play such good teams early on because it prepares us for the tough competition we face in Liberty League.”

For the offense, junior Celi Fletcher provided three of eight shots against Montclair. The junior offender also assisted junior Krista Butler with the first UR goal against WPU as well as DiMatteo with the last, a game-winning shot.

Also during the WPU game, sophomore Kari Plewniak filled the gap between the Fletcher assists and offered her own to freshman Erica Gelb, who brought the score to 2-2 with a second remaining in the first half.

The pivotal goal changed the momentum on the field and helped to encourage the tie-breaking goal scored by DiMatteo in the second half. Junior and forward Kristy Johnson also offered an offensive effort against the Pioneers with an attempted shot at goal.

The Yellowjackets play their next two games on the road facing Nazareth College on Wednesday and Utica College on Friday.

Anderson can be reached at janderson

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