Field Hockey Loses Opener After Last-Second Scramble

Atit Amin

The Raider field hockey team enters the 2004 season having been predicted to finish fifth in the Patriot Leaguie in the yearly preseason poll. The team graduated only three seniors, none of which were captains of last year’s squad. Despite the low expectations and relative inexperience, the team returned this year looking to improve on last year’s 2-4 conference record.The Colgate field hockey team lost its season-opener in heart-breaking fashion on Sunday to Rider University, thanks to the last-second heroics of Rider’s Ally Hunter. With the game tied at two, Hunter scored after a scramble in front of the net as time expired to give the visitors a win.Colgate drew first blood with an unassisted goal by senior Natalie Heller 12 minutes into the game, but Rider quickly struck back. Katie Conlon got the Broncos back to even five minutes after Heller’s goal, thanks to an assist off the stick of Meaghan Schweers. Although Rider had twice as many shots as Colgate in the first half, the Raiders defense, led by sophomore goalkeeper Jacque DeMarco fought hard to take a tie into the locker room. DeMarco had seven saves in the first half to keep the game close.In the second half, the Broncos took a 2-1 lead when Stephanie Durante scored at the 57:14 mark. But this time Colgate responded, as junior Sarah McCarthy scored in the 65th minute to knot the score at two. Senior tri-captains Courtney Collins and Kath Shelley both assisted on the game-tying goal.Rider remained persistent on the offensive end of the field, out-shooting the Raiders by eight in the second half. Rider’s constant offensive pressure culminated in Hunter’s wild last-second shot that found its way past DeMarco, giving Rider an unbelievable victory. The miracle goal aside, DeMarco played superbly in goal. The Hudson, OH native finished with 11 saves for the Raiders. The Raiders could not put equal pressure on the opposition, however, as Rider goalie Krysta Bearish needed to stop only two shots. Although the loss was a tough awas to start the new season, the Raiders hope to bounce back when they face off with West Chester tomorrow and Pacific on Sunday, with both games being played at Tyler’s Field.