Stingy Fordham Defense Outplays Raider Field Hockey Team

Hoping to bounce back from their opening season 3-2 loss to Rider, the Raider field hockey team fell victim to another 3-2 defeat, this time at the hands of the West Chester Rams on Saturday afternoon at Tyler’s field. The game got off to an inauspicious start for the Raiders as the Rams scored a goal less than two minutes into play. For the rest of the half, the Raiders turned up the defensive intensity. Every shot by the Rams was closely contested and scoring chances were denied time and again by Raider goalie sophomore Jacque DeMarco. The Raiders’ upbeat defense helped spark the offense, culminating with a goal by senior tri-captain, Kath Shelley at the 8:41 mark, her first of the season. Both teams had their chances during the remainder of the first period but neither team could capitalize on their attempts. Coming out of halftime, it was the Raiders who initiated the attack. Head coach Kathy Foto’s decision to put senior Sally Mazzocchi into the game paid off, as the senior scored her first career goal at the 38:36 mark. Unfortunately, for the Raiders, the lead didn’t last long, as West Chester responded two minutes later with a second goal by Jen Doody. The end of the game was hotly contested and featured two spectacular saves by Raider goalie DeMarco, one of which was surely headed for the net, were it not for a leaping save. Despite the play of DeMarco, the Rams continued to pressure the Raider defense and Ashley Grossman scored the game winner. The Rams’ three goals should not take away from the efforts of DeMarco, who finished with twenty crucial saves and has “much improved and gained much more presence around the net,” according to Foto. According to Coach Foto, the deciding factor in Saturday’s game “were the two defensive mishaps, in which West Chester capitalized on their breakaways.” Meanwhile, looking forwards to Sunday’s game against Pacific, when asked what the Raiders can improve upon, Shelley said, “we need to play smarter and we are a much more talented team then we played today.” The Colgate field hockey team continued its tough beginning to the season with a 3-0 loss to Pacific. The frustrating beginning has already taken its toll, emotionally and psychologically on the players. Both teams brought their share of intensity right from the start; however, players were bunching in clusters near the ball, which discouraged the flow of the offense. As the game went on, the teams began to settle in and both goalies, Kim Myers of Pacific and DeMarco, came up with impressive saves. The Tigers got on the board first with a successful corner conversion in the 14th minute as Lindsay Rovai scored off an assist by Dana Walsh. Colgate followed up with some pressure of its own through numerous corner attempts, but Myers made successive glove saves to keep the Raiders scoreless. The Raider defense held its ground until Rovai struck again off another corner attempt. The Tigers broke the game wide open with Rovai’s third and final goal of the contest, which came once again from a corner attempt.The Raiders were out shot 19-12, and Myers only had to make six saves compared to DeMarco’s made 11. “We need to develop a rhythm on offense, and we need to have more poise in certain situations,” head coach Kathy Foto said. Although the Raiders were still winless, there seemed to be a sense of urgency to win, especially among the senior tri-captains. “Right now the sense of urgency is absolutely essential for our success,” senior tri-captain Courtney Collins said. “It’s all about not giving up and getting over the [losses]. We really have to want to win like never before. The next couple of games are crucial to us before our league games start and honestly its all about urgency right now and having the heart to do anything to win.” Amidst the rain of Hurricane Frances, the Raiders proved why they are a much better team than their record indicates. Playing with the hearts of champions and leaving it all on the field, the Raiders defeated the Big Red Bears of Cornell, 3-1, Wednesday evening at a soggy Tyler’s Field. In their fourth consecutive non-conference game, the Raiders picked up their first home victory against Cornell since 1996. Senior tri-captain Ashley Schneider provided the bulk of the offense by scoring two goals, her first points of the new season. Intense and overpowering Raider defense, led by first-year Heather Davis and junior Dana Shaner caused havoc in the Big Red offense and in turn, helped initiate the Raider offense. As always, Shelley got the offense rolling by putting a shot on goal but Cornell goalie Lori Blutinger denied the attempt, however, Schneider was at the right place at the right time and put back the rebound. The Raiders lead fizzled when the Big Red Bears tied up the score at the eighth minute with a goal by Danielle Dunn. Schneider took matters into her own hands by scoring her second goal of the game, in the 21st minute, and giving the Raiders the lead going into halftime. Maintaining the offensive pressure, the Raiders came out strong in the second half as Sarah McCarthy scored her second goal of the season off a penalty corner in the 36th minute of the contest. From then on, Cornell was overmatched, especially on the offensive side of the field. There the Raiders their opponents 24-7, requiring DeMarco to make only three nifty saves. More importantly, the Raiders played almost mistake free, allowing Cornell only one penalty corner compared to 12 opportunities for Colgate. As for the inopportune weather conditions present at the game, it seemed advantageous to the players. “The rain wasn’t that big of a factor because it allowed for a better grip on the slick turf,” Coach Foto noted. With the first win of the season, the monkey is off the Raiders’ back and it should foreshadow better things to come. For the players, it is always a relief to get that first victory of the season. With that victory in hand, the women seek another win when they travel to Columbia, on Sunday.