By EVAN HICKS
The University of Mary Washington women’s field hockey team had their seventh home game last Saturday, Sept. 18, against Randolph Macon College. Following a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Wesley College, the Lady Eagles rebounded for an impressive shutout win, 4-0 over the Yellow Jackets.
The game started with a strong defensive edge on both sides, as neither team was able to find the goal in the opening half. Despite the scoreless game at halftime, the Eagles dominated the ball, attempting nine shots to just one for Randolph Macon.
“The first half we kind of sat back and watched,” Head Coach Lindsey Elliott said. “I think we’re doing a great job so far. I think we just need to get our intensity up throughout the game.”
Sophomore Maura Flynn was responsible for much of the Eagles’ early defensive success, with aggressive action in possession contests and accurate long range passes. Senior Morgan Jones (four shots on goal) helped to push the Eagles’ offense forward with several long runs while maintaining possession of the ball.
When asked to comment on the runs, Jones responded by saying that the team had been emphasizing running in line and trying to execute and pass during game play.
“Finally, at the end we just did it,” Jones said.
The Eagles came out much more dominant in the second period, with senior Kaitlyn Ripley quickly racking up two goals within the first five minutes of action following intermission. Ripley’s first goal was assisted by sophomore Caitlin Baker, who would later go onto score the Eagles final goal in the 4-0 rout.
“The second half we moved the ball a lot better, obviously, with the four goals we had in the second half,” Elliot said. She went on to add that the team was looking to get more shutouts, with the eventual goal to return to the CAC championship game and improve their record from last season’s 14-8 mark.
Junior Lisa Charney tallied the third goal for the Eagles and was credited with an assist on the team’s final goal of the contest. Junior Claire Gianelle was impressive in goal for Mary Washington, recording seven saves in the victory.
The visiting Yellow Jackets showed a brief resurgence in the second frame, firing 11 shots at Gianelle’s way, but UMW continued their stingy defensive effort and wouldn’t be cracked. The second period ended with 15 penalty shots, nine for the Eagles and six for Randolph Macon, but all were denied by each team’s respective goal keeper.
“Well, our defense was playing great from the beginning, but our offense and midfield needed to be more offensive minded,” Ripley said. “We were hanging back too much in the first half.”
The impressive victory for the Eagles showed their offensive and defensive prowess. Jones and Ripley echoed Coach Elliott’s desire to return to the CAC title game and to continue winning in order to improve upon last year’s solid season.
UMW’s field hockey team played last night against Catholic University, but the game ended too late to have results included in this issue. The next chance for the Eagles to take the field in search of inching closer toward their CAC title hopes will be this Saturday when they travel to Pennsylvania to take on York College.