By ALICEN HACKNEY
On Saturday, Sept. 23, the UMW women’s field hockey team held their own against Tufts University. While it may not have resulted in a win, the Mary Washington girls, or stood up to take on the challenge.
The game ended with Tufts winning 1-0, but they were unable to score until the final minutes of overtime. Most game play took place on Mary Washington’s end of the field; however, the Wash girls’ push back and defense was incredible. The Wash girls came close to scoring six times, sending the crowd into a joyous uproar.
Upon being asked about her expectations going into a game against Tufts, Mackenzie Burnett stated, “We knew it would be a tough game because Tufts is a strong team; but we went in with confidence, and we were ready to play our game.”
The game went off mostly without a hitch, with only one injury on the Mary Washington side. Player Lexie Dixon took a ball to the shin from a mere six or seven feet away. Dixon showed the strength of an Eagle, getting back up and walking it off quickly, even going as far as jumping and running, showing she was unphased by the injury.
Parents and other family members cheered loudly for their players from the stands. The sense of camaraderie and family between parents of team members was wonderful to see. While many parents wanted to remain anonymous, the general consensus of comments represented that the parents were proud of their athletes and felt that the players should be proud of themselves as well. Everyone in attendance enjoyed watching the Wash girls hold their own.
On the strengths and weaknesses shown during Saturday’s game, Burnett stated, “Even though we didn’t get the outcome we wanted, our defense consistently stayed with our marks and held strong. Today especially we did a great job at connecting with each other all the way up the field and playing as a unit. There is always room for improvement, but we look at today’s game with pride knowing that we can hang with a highly ranked team such as Tufts.”
Not only could the UMW team hang with such a highly ranked team, but they proved they could fight hard to keep their ground. While Tufts may be highly ranked, UMW was a challenging team to play. Even in the summer-like heat, the Wash girls never lost their energy and kept Tufts on their toes.
In closing comments, Burnett stated, “I’m really proud of my team and I’m looking forward to building off of today for an awesome rest of the season.”
You can find the women’s field hockey game schedule and more at the UMW athletics website. As they continue to improve throughout the season, you’ll want to see this strong team in action.