Women’s Field Hockey Seeks First Win: Looking Forward to Boston University and Rider Tilts

Junior forward Whitney Jones prepares a Raiders offensive push in the team’s home opener. 

Junior forward Whitney Jones prepares a Raiders offensive push in the team’s home opener. 

Victoria Holt, Maroon-News staff

Last weekend, the women’s field hockey team was on the road, beginning their Patriot League campaign on Saturday against the Holy Cross Crusaders in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Raiders played hard but fell to their adversaries 3-­1. The next day, the Raiders dealt with a quick turnaround, traveling to Cambridge, Massachusetts to face off against Harvard. Despite Colgate’s impressive efforts, they were unsuccessful in their campaign, losing 3-0. After a very hectic weekend, the Raiders’ record stands at 0-­8 for the season, and 0­-1 in Patriot League play.

Saturday’s game was the Patriot League opener for both the Crusaders and the Raiders, so both teams came out filled with vigor and enthusiasm. Midway through the first half of the contest, Holy Cross began putting points on the board. Within a nine­-minute span the Crusaders scored all three of their goals. First-year forward Jillian May was the first to score about ten minutes into the game. Shortly afterward, first-year midfielder Emily Loprente doubled the lead for Holy Cross by scoring in the eighteenth minute. Finally, sophomore forward Maureen Connolly brought in the final point for the home team, scoring in the twentieth minute. 

In the face of these setbacks, the Raiders pushed back hard and were able to regain a bit of ground lost in the end of the second half. Junior forward Whitney Jones found the back of the net while capitalizing on a rebound opportunity; her goal was her second of the season. Junior forward Emily Brash also contributed offensively with four shots on goal. Though the Raiders continued to battle, they were unable to fully recover and the Crusaders emerged victorious. The win moved Holy Cross’ record to 5-­3.

The next afternoon, Colgate took on Harvard in Cambridge, fighting hard despite the additional challenge of a rapid turnaround. Harvard hit the ground running when senior back Elizabeth Jacobson scored an unassisted goal just 82 seconds into the game. In the ninth minute, the home team widened their lead when junior forward Marissa Balleza scored off an assist by Jacobson. The final point of the contest came in the 58th minute when Jacobson had another unassisted goal. Though the Raiders did not manage to get on the board, their play showed consistent improvement. Sophomore goalkeeper Maria Krull recorded double­ digit saves for the fifth consecutive game of the season and the sixth time overall. Additionally, Brash continued to lead Colgate’s offensive efforts with two shot attempts. However, despite the best efforts of the team, they were unsuccessful in the efforts to bounce back following Harvard’s early jump on the lead. The game ended with a score of 3­-0, giving them their eighth loss and putting Harvard’s record at 3­-2.

“We are having a tough go this season and unfortunately had our first Patriot League loss on Saturday. That being said, the girls all have such amazing work ethics and continually push themselves to do better,” senior captain Jessica Gardiner said. 

As they continue to focus on improving their game, the team prepares to battle against Boston University this coming Saturday at Tyler’s Field, while also hosting a game on Sunday against Rider University. The Lady Raiders hope to earn their first victory of the season this weekend and build upon their team chemistry that has been developed thus far. With a very young team and only two seniors on the roster, the teams’ future is looking bright despite a difficult start to the 2015 season. That said, the Raiders are not giving up on this season and will continue to fight every single game.