Field Hockey: College falls to Drexel Friday, then overcomes American in overtime match

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October 29, 2013

1:38 AM

After coming up short against ODU Oct. 18, William and Mary was back for more this weekend, heading up north for two road games. The College was able to win in a remarkable overtime game against American, but struggled in a 3-0 loss to Drexel.

The College (7-9, 2-2 CAA) was outnumbered in shots and corners against Drexel (12-5, 3-1 CAA). Drexel forward Lindsay McArdle put a shot in the top right corner of the goal to give Drexel an early lead. Junior defender Kelsey Hull made a defensive save in the first half — her second save of the season. The half would remain 1-0 until the whistle.

Following the first half, Drexel forward Christina Conrad pounced on a rebound from sophomore goalkeeper Cate Johnson in the first minute, putting Drexel up 2-0. After the Dragons’ second goal, the Tribe turned around and managed to outnumber Drexel in shots for the rest of the half. In the 43rd minute, the College was rewarded with a penalty corner. Junior midfielder Emma Clifton was able to push the ball to senior forward Taylor Hodge, who slammed it past defenders into the goal, making the score 2-1.

Unfortunately, a green card in the final minutes gave Drexel an advantage, and McArdle put Drexel up by one more goal with a top right corner chip shot. Johnson managed to finish with five saves by the end of the game.

“The intensity of the game went backwards and forwards; there was some hard officiating against us,” head coach Tess Ellis said. “We had our opportunities. Defensively we hung on strong but offensively we didn’t finish our chances. We actually tied the game 2-2 but the official took the goal back. It was close and it was hard and we just didn’t finish our opportunities.”

On Sunday, the Tribe headed north hungry for a win against American (11-5, 5-0 Patriot League). The game remained scoreless until the 17th-minute mark when the College was rewarded a penalty corner. Sophomore midfielder Pippin Saunders inserted the ball to junior midfielder Kayleigh Ross who set it up for Hodge at the top of the circle. She crashed the ball past the keeper into the net.

In the 45th minute, American was given a penalty corner and American’s Grace Wilson tied the game 1-1. The competitive vibe continued until the end of the game, but neither team could come through with the winning goal. The intensity would continue into overtime, when each team can only play with seven players on the field.

“The first strategy was to try and put out seven of our strongest players. Strength-wise we were looking at speed and passing skills,” Ellis said. “We had a little bit more depth, and we were able to roll through more subs than American, which sped the team up, and we ended the game with a penalty corner.”

The College strategized well and managed to receive a corner just a little over two minutes before the end of the period. Saunders passed to Clifton who stopped the ball at the top of the circle for Hodge.

In a dazzling display of athleticism, Hodge stepped slightly to the side to dodge a defender and then took her victorious shot.

The Tribe’s 2-1 victory provided the players a measure of retribution for their blowout loss to Drexel Friday.

The Tribe will play Northeastern this Friday at home.

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