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The Blue & Gray Press | December 15, 2017

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Field Hockey continues strong play, remains nationally ranked

Field Hockey continues strong play, remains nationally ranked

 

By MIKEY BARNES

The University of Mary Washington has proved itself a powerhouse in the Capital Athletic Conference, most notably this past year as a number of our athletic teams found themselves in the national rankings and competed in NCAA tournaments.

Students filled the seats and rallied as our men’s basketball team played in the Elite 8, and students cheered as the men’s lacrosse team advanced to their first tournament appearance. But what students may not know is that, arguably, UMW’s most successful team of recent seasons has been our field hockey team.

In 2012, UMW field hockey finished an outstanding 20-2 behind then second year head coach Lindsey Elliot as the team went on to win the CAC championship and finished the season with an appearance in the NCAA Tournament Final Four.

This past season, the ladies of the field hockey team finished with a record of 15-3 and found themselves as highly ranked as fifth in the nation for Division III. Elliot, now in her fourth year as coach, and the Lady Eagles are now off to another great start as they are 7-1 so far on the season and are ranked 19th in the nation.

The 7-1 record and 19th natioanl ranking were not handed to these ladies either, as they have faced some tough competition in the early parts of the season with some games that have gone down to the wire. The women’s field hockey team, outside of their loss to Franklin & Marshall by a score of 4-3 earlier in the season, have defeated four teams by more than three goals and have won the remaining three by a single goal in each contest.

The biggest victories of the season have included a 16-0 blowout of their opening opponent, Ferrum College, as well as a 12-0 debacle of Roanoke College. Aside from just the score total, the eagles defeated their biggest competitor so far on this short season with a 1-0 win over then 14th ranked Catholic University. A double-overtime victory over Shenandoah University proved to be the most exciting game of the season, as junior Kathleen Namey scored the game winner on the final score of the first round of the best of five.

The Eagles are led on the season with seven goals by junior Haley Kane, who is coincidently enough the team leader in assists with six. There is a three-way tie for second in goals with six between sophomore Ashlin Jones – who recently scored a hat-trick against Eastern Mennonite – juniors Nicole Guinn and Jenna Steele.

The team is led in the net by sophomore goalie Megan McLaughlin, who has a phenomenal save percentage north of 90 percent.

Behind the brick wall that is McLaughlin and the unstoppable scoring squad of Kane, Jones, Guinn and Steele, UMW field hockey is looking to climb the rankings as they attempt to find themselves in the NCAA tournament again. The Lady Eagles will now travel to Washington and Lee on Sept. 27 and will be back home Sept. 30 against Messiah.