Field Hockey’s Postseason Hopes Take Huge Hit

Alyssa Tamburrino

A goal for every team is to be able to reach postseason play. Unfortunately for the women’s field hockey team, this goal is on the brink as Colgate lost 2-1 to Cornell University and 5-1 to American University last week.

The game against Cornell University was a grudge match. Play between the two teams was fierce and aggressive with back and forth exchanges of possession. In the eighteenth minute, however, Cornell forward Kat DiPastina took advantage of a self-created opportunity when she put her own rebounded shot into the back of the net.

Then just as the final seconds before half time ticked away, Colgate capitalized once again off of a corner hitting opportunity. This time, it was sophomore defenseman Peyton Hawkins who drove home the goal from the set corner piece. Senior midfielders and captains Mika Ella-Tang and Katelyn Nerbonne were awarded assists on the play.

Colgate matched Cornell’s attack with an equally brutal defensive effort. Senior keeper and captain Sarah Pedersen had twelve saves on the evening, increasing her streak of consecutive double digit save games to three. Besides the saves posted by Pedersen, the Raiders came up big with two defensive saves by Hawkins and fellow defenseman, first year Adriana Libutti. These two instances of some serious ‘Gate hustle were important for keeping the contest so close.

“A defensive save means that the goalkeeper couldn’t get to the shot but a defender did,” Coach Cathy Foto said. “It is a big deal because if they couldn’t get to it then it would have been a sure goal.”

Despite the defensive effort displayed by the women, the Big Red was able to score in the 61st minute off of a corner hit and take the game.

Even though the team was able to escape the overcast and dour weather that we have become accustomed to in Central New York at this time of the year, the end result of the game versus American University did not coincide with D.C.’s more pleasant climate.

In contrast to their game against Cornell, Colgate did not play well defensively against American. The women were outshot 24-7. This unbalanced ratio was seen most obviously in the final score of 5-1.

On top of the defensive lapse, Pedersen sustained a throat injury and junior Kirsten Lalli had to replace her. Lalli filled the position well, making six saves over 50 minutes.

“Composure, composition and confidence are always essential no matter who we’re playing, so I tried to help my defenders with that,” Lalli said about what she tried to bring to the team in the absence of Pedersen. “Given that we were facing some of the hardest competition in our league, positive energy was key.”

Junior midfielder Laura Denenga was able to make the only Colgate goal. Denenga was able to drive home a shot from a broken corner hit in the 15th minute to make the deficit 2-1. Nerbonne was credited with the assist. From there, American was able to score three more times.

Coverage of today’s 4-2 loss against Holy Cross will appear in the Maroon-News Thursday.