Yellowjacket field hockey is now 7-5 after halting a four-game Liberty League losing streak last week. They came out on top in a close overtime bout with SUNY Geneseo and burned up the field in a victory against SUNY Oswego to string together two wins in a row.

The Yellowjackets struck early and often with an offensive torrent of goals in a 7-0 shutout of the SUNY Oswego Lakers last Saturday. This was a complete team victory with seven different people scoring and all three goalies seeing time in goal.

Sophomore forward Amanda Case started off the scoring for UR in the ninth minute of play with a close-range shot into the goal. She was assisted by sophomore forward/midfielder Lara Bucarey and sophomore defender/midfielder Christi Bottcher. This was Case’s sixth goal of the season. The second goal was scored in the 15th minute of the game when Bottcher took a shot and had it tipped in by sophomore forward Tara Gelb. In addition to Bottcher, junior defender Erica Gelb was credited with the assist.

The ‘Jackets continued to pour things on during the first half with a third goal in the 24th minute. Senior defender/midfielder Alicia Citro netted a shot during a scramble in the goalmouth. Four minutes later, senior midfielder Kari Plewniak sent one into the cage off of a penalty corner assisted by Erica Gelb.

UR continued to punch holes through the Oswego defense in the second half. Erica Gelb scored the fifth goal in the 60th minute after a penalty corner on a scramble in the goalmouth. The Yellowjackets then went on to score two goals in the last minute. Bucarey sent a shot into the lower right corner of the cage past the goalie after a solo run. Twenty-seven seconds later, sophomore forward Valerie Lazickas scored the seventh goal of the game in a melee in the goalmouth, assisted by Plewniak.

UR outshot SUNY Oswego 16-3 and held an 8-2 advantage in penalty corners. Senior Rachel Cahan spent the first half in goal without having to make a save. Fellow senior Robin Levy started the second half of the game in goal and made one save. She gave way to sophomore Danielle Pearson who played the last 10 minutes of the match in the cage without seeing much action.

“Oswego presented a challenge for the team as they played a very aggressive style of hockey that worked for a period of time in the first half and kept us from attacking successfully. Once we adjusted our game to work the ball around their players with accurate passes and individual elimination skills, we began to find the back of the cage,” head coach Wendy Andreatta said. “I always love to clear the bench and get the entire team involved in the game and everyone stepped up and played well. Sometimes playing a scrappy team with lots of heart, like Oswego, can be dangerous. Oswego never gave up and I give that team a lot of credit for their hustle.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 9, the Yellowjackets won a tough overtime match 2-1 against the SUNY Geneseo Blue Knights. UR’s defense held off the Knights in the first half of play, leaving them shotless. In the first half, the ‘Jackets had 12 shots on goal, but didn’t capitalize on those opportunities. It was in the second half that UR got on the board in the 53rd minute of the game. Erica Gelb sent the ball to Bottcher, who was at the left side of the circle as she powered the ball into the lower left corner of the goal to successfully score off of a penalty corner. SUNY Geneseo evened things up with a goal off of a penalty corner of their own in the 61st minute. Regulation play ended with the score tied 1-1, forcing sudden death overtime. Bottcher and Erica Gelb teamed up again to give the ‘Jackets the win.

In the fourth minute of overtime, Erica Gelb played the ball to Bottcher at the top of the circle and she sent a shot into the bottom right corner of the woodwork. UR outshot Geneseo 17-10 and led 11-6 on penalty corners. Junior defender Maeghan Kirsch had a defensive save. Cahan made three saves between the pipes, including overtime.

The ‘Jackets played Liberty League opponents Skidmore College on Friday, Oct. 5 and Union College on Saturday, Oct. 6, losing to both in conference action.

The Yellowjackets lost to Union, 1-4. The Dutchwomen broke through with a goal in the 21st minute of the first half and added three more in the second. Bucarey scored the only UR goal in the 64th minute off of a breakaway. Cahan made 10 saves in goal and let four into the net. Union outshot UR 21-6 and racked up a 12-5 advantage in penalty corners.

The Skidmore Thoroughbreds beat UR 3-1 in yet another league match-up. The Yellowjackets’ defense played strongly until Skidmore scored in the 26th minute. They then went on to score two more goals in the game. Erica Gelb, assisted by Citro, scored UR’s only goal in the 47th minute on a penalty corner. Skidmore outshot UR 19-8 and had 12 penalty corners over the Yellowjackets’ eight. Cahan made 13 saves in goal and allowed three goals.

The team’s unified attack strategy worked well in the last two games played. Two Yellowjackets were recognized for their work on the field last week.

Bottcher was named Liberty League Offensive Performer of the Week. She scored two goals and had assists in two other goals last week. She also scored both ‘Jacket goals in the 2-1 overtime win against SUNY Geneseo and helped set up two goals in UR’s 7-0 win over SUNY Oswego.

“Christi Bottcher is one of our most versatile players,” Andreatta said. “In the Geneseo and Oswego games, we decided to move her from the backfield to the midfield to generate more attack, and she did a great job for us at right midfield. Christi has a very fast, powerful straight shot and, in Geneseo, she proved that with two beautiful goals on the corner.”

Erica Gelb was bestowed with Liberty League Co-Defensive Performer of the Week honors. She was part of a defense that held their opponents to one goal and 13 shots over two games. She also contributed offensively for the ‘Jackets. She had two assists in the Geneseo game and scored one goal alongside two assists in the win over Oswego.

“Erica Gelb has been a consistent presence for us in the backfield. As the primary insert on attack corners, she is an essential component to our success on attack as well. For us to be successful, Erica will need to continue to work hard at both ends of the field,” Andreatta said.

The ‘Jackets finish up Liberty League action this weekend with a Meliora Weekend showcase. They play Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Friday, Oct. 19 at 4 p.m. and Vassar College at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Levy is a member of the class of 2008.

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