By MIKEY BARNES
Coming into the season, the University of Mary Washington’s field hockey program had a lot to look forward to. The return of star players, for instance, along with a number of talented young athletes who performed well last year, while losing only one senior to graduation. Now older, the UMW field hockey team is ready to take the NCAA and CAC by storm.
Last year, ranking as high as 14th in the country and finishing the season with a record of 14-5, the program held a lot of excitement behind, now fifth year, head coach Lindsey Elliot who has had nothing but success in her tenure here at UMW.
The Eagles opened up the season with a route of Randolph-Macon College by a score of 10-0. All-Region senior midfielder Kathleen Namey led the game and scored a pair of goals along with one assist. Narmey was joined by All-CAC junior Christine Loehr who claimed a pair of goals herself, leading the 17th ranked UMW Eagles to victory.
The Eagles’ defense could not be broken past as only one shot was attempted by the Yellow Jackets of Randolph-Macon, compared to the 42 of UMW.
In contrast, the Eagles faired significantly different against DePauw University on Saturday, Sept. 5. DePauw opened up scoring, but senior Kathleen Namey scored with just over a minute left in the game to tie it up at one apiece to send it to overtime. With less than three minutes left in the game, sophomore Allegra Massey-Elim scored the game-winning goal for the Eagles, improve to 2-0 on the season. Again, the UMW defense was a force, as they allowed just six shots, compared to 25 from themselves.
The next day, the Eagles took on Centre College. Their losing streak continued as UMW coasted through a 5-0 shutout. Senior Jenna Steele scored a pair of goals along with Massey-Elim. Namey scored the fifth and final goal for the Eagles in the last 10 minutes of the game. Freshman goalies Jessica Cavolt and Caroline Freeman split the time at the net, stopping every shot their way, creating another shutout for the eagles as they improved to 3-0.
On Sept. 9, the Eagles obtained their third shutout in just four games. They took on Bridgewater College under the lights, as they ran away with a 4-0 victory. The game had an hour and a half lightning break, as the city of Fredericksburg was hit by a period of down pours.
Prior to the rain delay Steele had already scored three goals, giving her a hat trick and her 50th goal in her career. Loehr scored a goal just minutes after the delay ended.
Freshman Alaina Shivers scored on a Loehr assist for her second goal on the season and was followed up by Steele for her fourth on the game just moments later.
The surpassing of the 50 goals on the season helped Steele join an elusive club of UMW field hockey players as she become just the second to score more than 50 goals in a career. With the four points obtained from the goals, Steele moved into third place in career scoring with 128 points. Cavolt handled the goalie duties by herself as she saved two shots and recorded her fourth victory of the season.
The UMW field hockey team will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Franklin & Marshall at 1:00 p.m. They will play two remaining games on the road before return to play at home on Wednesday, Sept. 23 against Virginia Wesleyan on Alzheimer’s Awareness Day.