On Sunday night, UR field hockey’s three seniors defender Erica Gelb, midfielder Katie Moll and defender Maeghan Kirsch took the field at Fauver Stadium for the last time against the SUNY Oneonta Dragons. The result a 3-2 come-from-behind victory was the perfect end to the accomplished careers of the senior trio.
With less than seven minutes left in regulation, the game was tied at two. UR had knotted the score less than a minute before thanks to an individual effort from freshman forward Allison Beardsley, and the ‘Jackets were on the offensive again.
This time, it was Gelb threading a pass into the crease for junior forward Lara Bucarey, who put the ball past Oneonta goalie Leslie Dauphinais, giving UR the 3-2 lead. The ‘Jackets held on for the final minutes, closing their season with a 12-8 record.
Gelb led the team this year in assists with nine. In her four years as a ‘Jacket, she has totaled 15 assists.
UR kicked off the scoring in the first minute of play. Bucarey rocketed a shot from 8 yards out on the right side of the field that slipped through the Dragon defense and by Oneonta’s goalie at the time, Erica Dombkowski.
Bucarey’s two goals in the game gave her eight in the season. She is third on the team in that category, behind Beardsley and junior midfielder Christi Bottcher, who both finished the season with 10 goals apiece.
Oneonta responded with two goals before the half was up one in the 14th minute on a straight-on shot from 15 yards out and then again in the 32nd minute off of a penalty corner.
Despite the close score, UR dominated offensively. The ‘Jackets had 19 shots on goal compared to just four from the Dragons.
They also held a 12-4 advantage in penalty corners. Dauphinais was forced to make 10 saves.
The Dragons dropped to 6-13 with the loss.
Last Thursday, the Yellowjackets traveled to SUNY Brockport to take on the Golden Eagles in a regional matchup that was rescheduled from Wednesday, Oct. 29.
The Eagles’ offensive pressure proved to be too much for UR, as Brockport rode a 25-9 shot advantage to a 2-1 overtime victory over the ‘Jackets.
UR again scored the early goal. This time, it was Gelb putting in the rebound off a defensive save in the 30th minute. The goal was Gelb’s fourth of the season.
Two minutes later, Brockport responded, taking advantage of a penalty corner to get on the board and knot the score at one.
The final tally came in the first two minutes of the overtime period. The Eagles needed only two shots before they were able to find the back of the net, putting the ball past Yellowjacket junior goalie Danielle Pearson off of a rebound.
Pearson faced 20 shots in the game and finished with 18 saves. Eagle’s goalie Jen Allen was forced to make five saves.
As its season came to a close on Sunday, UR will miss the influence of its three members of the class of 2009.
Kirsch and Gelb were both essential to a UR defense that allowed just 1.32 goals per game this season. Moll was strong on the wing in the midfield, playing in 18 of 19 games and starting in 13 of them.
In the past two years, Kirsch has played in every game for the ‘Jackets and has started in 32 of those 35 games. Her sophomore year, she was given the National Field Hockey Coaches Association’s scholar award.
Gelb has been an integral member of the team throughout her tenure as a ‘Jacket. As a freshman, she started all but one game. This year, she has taken on more of a role on the offensive side of the field as well. This past year, Gelb was elected as a Garnish Award winner given to the school’s most exceptional student athletes and has been named to the NFHCA’s Division III Academic Squad the past three years.
Moll is also a winner of the NFHCA’s scholar award. She has played in each game this season and started every game in her junior year.
Pearson led the team in goal, earning three shutouts while allowing just 1.68 goals per game. Bottcher was the team’s leader in both points and goals this season. Freshman Anna Dobrzynski and Beardsley contributed substantially to the offense, as well, logging eight and 10 goals, respectively.
UR finished the season in a tie for sixth place in the Liberty League with William Smith College with a 2-5 conference record.
Hilfinger is a member of the class of 2010.