Field Hockey defeats No. 3 LIU Post 3-2
In sports, the mark of a strong and unified team is when the individuals can recognize that they can do better. A bad team can become good and a good team can become great.
At this point, it’s unclear where the Assumption women’s field hockey team, 4-5 (3-1 at home, 1-4 on the road) stands on this spectrum. It’s too early in the season to tell. One thing is for sure though. They know they can be better.
“Since our loss to Saint Mike’s (A 2-1 loss on Sep. 23rd), we decided that we weren’t going to let that happen anymore.” Senior forward Allison Sheahan said.
On Tuesday, September 26, the Assumption Greyhounds defeated the no. 3 ranked, and previously undefeated, LIU Post Pioneers 3-2 in overtime on their Blue Out day.
What exactly is the ‘that’ that Sheahan and her fellow Hounds aren’t letting happen anymore? Missed scoring chances, losing out on 50-50 balls and not finishing games.
“I feel like we’ve been struggling to find A, the net and B, our second half.” Coach Annie Lahey said.
The good news for the Hounds is, these three areas where they were struggling all came together in the second half of Tuesday’s game. The Hounds and the Pioneers played to a scoreless half, though the Pioneers had nine shots to the Hounds’ one.
Although the Hounds’ offense struggled to get good shots in the circle, the Hounds’ defense held the Pioneers at bay. Junior goalie Sarah Bodzinski had six saves in the first half, keeping her team in the contest. And on one instance, when Bodzinksi couldn’t make the save, her teammate had her back.
With about three minutes remaining in the half, junior midfielder/defender Kolby Burger made a defensive save (a legal stop of a sure goal with the player’s stick). For those who do not know, a defensive save is a rare and magnificent play because the defender saves the ball when the goalie cannot. It showed great awareness and communication on the part of Burger to make such a play.
However, the Pioneers were undefeated for a reason. They raced out of the gate in the second half, scoring two goals in a matter of five minutes. The Pioneers’ proceeded to dominate the time of possession from that point on, earning five penalty corners and four shots before the Hounds could get one in. But the defense held strong.
Suddenly, the Hounds’ offense started to show some life. Then, in the final ten minutes, they broke the game open. The Hounds scored two goals off two penalty corners to tie the game. Freshman forward Isabel Primack snuck behind the goalie and scored off an assist from Sheahan. Then, with four minutes remaining in regulation, freshman forward Alexa Mulvihill served a ball over the goalie’s head off a Burger assist in a scrum to tie the game at 2-2. Overtime.
40 seconds into the overtime period, Primack raced down the field in transition with three defenders and Sheahan in front of her. Primack led Sheahan on a pass down the field, past two of the defenders. Sheahan was slightly behind the defender. The goalie began to inch out. With a burst of speed, Sheahan left the defender in the dust, controlling the ball with a reach of her stick.
Sheahan waited for the goalie to inch out even more, creating an angle. She rocketed a shot moments before the goalie dove to stop it. 3-2. Game over.
How did the Hounds’ offense come alive at the end? With crisp passing near the goal, the Hounds lured the Pioneers’ goalie out of the post and snuck shots in behind and over her. It was a huge win for the Hounds, showing they can beat one of the best teams in the country.
“To be able to come alive in the second half, that felt really good for me.” Coach Lahey said. “We had some unbelievable practices leading up to this game and I’m really excited to see what we can do for the rest of the season.”
Tim Capruso, a senior, studies English. He is the sports editor for Le Provocateur.