Yellowjackets field hockey extended their winning streak to four games after beating Hamilton College on Friday but lost to St. Lawrence University on Saturday and William Smith College on Wednesday. After beginning Liberty League play on the road last weekend and one home game, the ‘Jackets are 1-2 in league action and have a 5-3 record overall.

The ‘Jackets dropped a close 1-0 game to ninth ranked and undefeated William Smith College Wednesday night. The first half went by with neither team scoring. Both teams utilized strong defense to neutralize the other teams attack. The game shifted toward William Smith in the second half. Senior goalie Rachel Cahan stopped a penalty stroke one minute into the second half making a perfectly timed dive. The Herons scored the only goal of the game in the 48th minute during a melee in the goal mouth. Cahan contorted in various directions in her attempt to thwart the Heron’s several attempts to push the ball through the fracas and past the goal line. Cahan was a big part of UR’s defense making a season high 16 saves, holding William Smith to a single goal. This is the fewest goals allowed by UR defense in the past five conferencegames they have played against the Herons. William Smith outshot the ‘Jackets 20-6 and led 10-4 on penalty corners. Sophomore forward Amanda Case and Senior Kari Plewniak each had two shots on goal.

UR lost 1-0 on Saturday to 20th- ranked St. Lawrence University. St. Lawrence controlled play for most of the first half, taking 18 shots. They broke through the Yellowjacket defense, scoring in the 41st minute of the match on a shot tapped in after a penalty corner. The UR offense tried to put some pressure on the Saints’ defense late in the game, forcing the goalie to make four saves in the last three minutes after sending a barrage of shots toward goal off of penalty corners. The Saints outshot the ‘Jackets 29-12 and also held a 12-5 edge in penalty corners. Case along with senior midfielder/defender Alicia Citro led the team with three shots each. Citro also chipped in on the defensive side, making two defensive saves. Cahan made 14 saves in front of the net, allowing only one goal in 70 minutes.

UR upended Hamilton College for their first Liberty League win in conference action, delivering the Continentals their fourth loss of the season with a 3-1 final score. Case sent UR’s first goal, and her fifth of the season, through the pipes in the 15th minute of the clash. Hamilton evened the score with a goal of their own in the 19th minute of play. Sophomore midfielder Lindsay Bronnenkant gave the ‘Jackets the lead for good with a goal in the 27th minute of play; she was assisted by sophomore forward Lara Bucarey for her second goal of the season. Sophomore forward Valerie Lazickas caged her third goal of the season and the Yellowjackets’ third of the game, assisted by Case. Case led the team with five shots, followed by Bucarey and Citro with four each. The ‘Jackets outshot Hamilton 19-9 and held a 5-3 advantage in penalty corners. Cahan was only required to make three saves and allowed one goal.

Field hockey’s three losses this season all came against teams ranked in the Top 20 poll.

Amanda Case leads the team in scoring with five goals and figured into two of the Yellowjackets’ goals on Friday.

“Amanda Case has had a great start to the season. She has advanced receiving skills and has an innate ability to eliminate defenders in tight spaces. I think she is one of the top attackers in our league and [we] will count on her to continue to spearhead our attack,” head coach Wendy Andreatta said.

Another Yellowjacket of note from Friday’s game was Lazickas. Her one goal in the match makes her the third highest scorer with three thus far into the season.

“Valerie is a great asset to our

forward line. She plays an aggressive, fast-paced style that can catch the defense off guard and can finish her shots,” Andreatta said.

UR’s defense has been improving as the team gets deeper into the season and enters the heart of Liberty League play. They have only allowed two goals over the course of the last two games.

“We are starting to understand how to play disciplined defense and that will be one of the keys to our success in Liberty League play,” Andreatta said.

Despite Wednesday’s loss, the field hockey team is showing they are coming together to form a strong cohesive unit that can rely on each other to be successful on the pitch.

“On the forward line, Amanda Case has tremendous … skills and Lara Bucarey has excellent finishing ability. Valerie Lazickas, Kyra Pinsky and Lindsay Bronnenkant are also counted on heavily to come off the bench and contribute,” Andreatta said. “In the midfield, our seniors Kari Plewniak and Alicia Citro are doing a great job distributing the ball and joining the attack. We also have Tara Gelb and Katie Moll who are talented, versatile players who can play in the midfield or forward positions. Defensively, Christi Bottcher is playing outstanding hockey, as are Erica Gelb, Maeghan Kirsch and Liz Fletcher… Rachel Cahan is outstanding and I am fortunate to have senior Robin Levy and sophomore Dani Pearson who are excellent goalkeepers as well. Additionally, Rana Pedram, who is coming back from injury, and Ashley Huddleston … add to our backfield.”

On Wednesday, Cahan was presented with a Garnish Award for her hard work and dedication on and off the field.

“Being a Division III athlete is all about balancing your academic and athletic lives, and it’s such an honor to be recognized for that aspect of life because it is often overlooked,” Cahan said.

“Rachel is the quintessential student-athlete: she works very hard on the field and in the classroom and this award is well-deserved,” Andreatta said.

The Yellowjackets have the next week off and resume Liberty League play at home against Skidmore College on Friday Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. and Union College on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. They then play a non-league game against SUNY Geneseo on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 4:30 p.m.

Levy is a member of the class of 2008.

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