By JOSH JOHNSON
The University of Mary Washington women’s field hockey team fell to Christopher Newport in double overtime this past Saturday. Mary Washington was ranked 5th and Christopher Newport 13th in the nation coming into the game, according to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association’s Coaches poll.
The Eagles got off to a slow start and fell behind early, trailing by two at the half.
“We didn’t play our best in the first half,” said freshman forward Jenna Steele.
After letting up a goal in at the 1:21 mark, the Eagles stepped up their defense. Christopher Newport managed to score again just after the 30-minute mark. The Eagles were limited to only four shots and four penalty corners, hurting their chances immensely.
In the second half, the Eagles turned around their play. They had six additional shots, of which two found the net. Sophomore Christine Downie split the deficit at the 54-minute mark from an assist from Steele.
The momentum continued for the Eagles as Caitlin Baker had an unassisted goal in the 60th minute.
Neither team scored for the rest of regulation and the game went into overtime.
The Eagles scored in both overtimes but both goals were called back.
The first was deemed an illegal shot for being too high and the second bounced off an offensive player’s foot as it went into the goal. The frustration mounted for the Eagles who defeated the CNU Captains last year in another overtime thriller.
Ultimately, the Captains scored the deciding goal in the second overtime to hand the Eagles their first loss of the season.
“Everyone played the best they could,” said sophomore forward Amy Stevens about the loss.
“We dominated the second half and both overtimes the game just didn’t go the way we wanted it to,” said Steele.
The consensus among the University of Mary Washington players regarding how they thought they had played in the game was clear.
“The game should never have gone into overtime,” said sophomore forward Amy Stevens.
The Eagles travel to Maryland this weekend to play the first-ranked, Salisbury University.
“Were going to have to make the rest of the season what we want it to be,” said freshman defender Hunter Causey. “This loss is only going to make us want to come out stronger.”
The Eagles have plans to make an NCAA tournament run and in order to qualify must either win the Capital Athletic Conference tournament or gain a regional bid. The Eagles will attempt to win all of their games from here on out to put themselves in a good spot to gain a regional bid. The Eagles have seven regular season games remaining before CAC tournament play begins on Nov. 3.
Throughout their first 12 games, the Eagles have five shutouts, with respective per game averages of 5.17 goals scored and 0.92 goals allowed. The Eagles will hope to continue this solid play as they head into the back end of the regular season and into conference and national tournament play.