Life is good for the field hockey team. They placed third in Liberty League play after a tremendously challenging three-game stretch. Junior and co-captain Heidi Davies was named their second Liberty League Defensive Player of the Week.

The Yellowjackets are a team to be respected – if not feared – as the last stretch of the season approaches. And that’s not even the worst of it for their opponents.

“Honestly, we definitely haven’t peaked yet,” sophomore and goalie Rachel Cahan said after last weekend’s games against Union College and nationally ranked Skidmore College. “We’re just getting everything to fall into place.”

Her words proved true this week as the team came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Highlanders of Houghton College, 3-2, on Oct. 13.

The game got off to a rough start for the Yellowjackets. The Highlanders held UR shot-less for the first 35 minutes of play and even managed to net one for themselves after 31 minutes of first half play.

Two minutes into the second half, Houghton scored again, but it would be the last time the Highlander team had anything good to cheer about.

Junior Revay Wilson initiated the three-goal rally, scoring 42 seconds after the Highlander’s last goal.

Fifteen minutes later, junior Krista Butler tied the game, 2-2. Junior and co-captain Mary DiMatteo scored the game-winner with seven minutes still left on the clock.

The Yellowjacket defense remained solid during the three-goal rally holding the Houghton goal count at two throughout the rest of the match to help the team home with the 3-2 win. Cahan aided the defense with 10 saves for UR.

Last weekend’s games against the Dutchwomen of Union College and the Thoroughbreds of Skidmore College were equally exciting.

The Yellowjackets split the weekend series, defeating Union 2-1, on Oct. 7, but losing to the nationally ranked Thoroughbreds, 2-1, on Oct. 8.

“We were both going into the game tied for third,” DiMatteo said of Friday’s game against Union College.

Goals by senior Courtney Nussbaum and junior Kari Plewniak sealed UR’s third place status as the team defeated the Dutchwomen 2-1 in the steady rain that pounded the turf of Fauver Stadium. UR totaled 21 shots to their opponents’ eight.

The conditions remained slick for Saturday’s afternoon game against Skidmore, but the Yellowjackets exploded after the whistle and Wilson scored the first goal of the game only four minutes into the start.

The Thoroughbreds, however, answered back with an equalizer with 12:30 remaining in the half. After that, both teams remained locked at 1-1 for the remainder of regular play forcing overtime.

When overtime couldn’t determine a victor, a sudden death penalty shoot out took place, which is when Skidmore stole the 2-1 win. Despite the disappointing loss Cahan made 12 saves during the game.

“The entire team played amazing,” Cahan gushed. “We really just put our entire hearts into the game and played eighty-four minutes of ‘everything-you-got’ hockey.”

“Our defense played exceptionally well,” DiMatteo said.

“Our games this past weekend showed that we are a force in the Liberty League,” coach Michelle Andre added. “We are expecting to compete for a conference title and the games showed our character, how far we have come. We have an exciting few weeks ahead of us.”

The Yellowjackets hope to continue their successful play this weekend when they travel to St. Lawrence University and Hamilton College.

Their next home game is under the lights of Fauver Stadium on Oct. 26 against SUNY Brockport.

Anderson can be reached at janderson@campustimes.org.



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