Field Hockey: Tribe surmounts catamounts

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Courtesy Photo / Tribe Athletics

Sunday, Sept. 29, William and Mary faced off against Vermont at Busch Field in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Tribe (3-4) looked to continue its winning streak with a victory over the Catamounts (4-5) after a dominant victory over Monmouth the previous week. After a strong performance and intense level of play, the Tribe came out victorious with a 3-1 win.

The first period was relatively uneventful for both sides. After 12 minutes and a shot on goal from each team, the Tribe had a viable scoring opportunity when junior midfielder Ella Donahue attempted a shot on goal that was ultimately blocked. The subsequent rebound was shot by senior forward Woodard Hooper and blocked again. After two more blocked shots from the Catamounts and a save from Tribe sophomore goalkeeper Kimi Jones, the first quarter ended 0-0.

Early in the second period, it looked as if the tide had turned in the Tribe’s favor. Hooper had two shots, both of which went wide right, and the ball was continuously kept on the Catamounts’ side of the field. A penalty corner four minutes in, drawn by senior midfielder Annie Snead, again gave the Tribe another chance to score, however the shot by senior midfielder Christie van de Kamp went wide left. This impressive play ultimately went nowhere, and when the Catamounts were finally able to drive the ball down to the Tribe’s side, Catamount forward Sydney Melfi delivered the first goal of the game after tapping in a drive by Catamount midfielder Claudia Cotter. A few minutes later, Cotter drew a penalty corner for the Catamounts in which Catamount defender Clodagh Ferry sent a shot that went wide left.

While it seemed as if the momentum was now on the Catamounts’ side, the Tribe answered to them very quickly. Just three minutes after the Catamounts’ goal, Donahue served the ball to freshman forward Lily Saunders, who gave the Tribe its first goal of the game and her first goal of the season. The score remained 1-1 going into halftime.

In the third period, the Tribe dominated the play early. Hooper, junior forward Caitlin Maclean, and sophomore midfielder Cara Menges all had shots within the first six minutes of the second half. Shortly after, Menges scored on a shot to the back post that was tipped in by junior defender Haley Hopkins, her second goal of the season and the Tribe’s second goal of the game. Now up 2-1, the College continued to play aggressively.

Freshman forward Sally Snead drew a penalty corner on which junior forward Melanie Strik scored her first goal of the season, assisted by freshman defender Tabby Billingham and Sally Snead. Shortly after, senior midfielder Annie Snead drew a penalty corner for the Tribe, followed by Ferry drawing a corner for the Catamounts. Neither corner amounted in a goal, and the period ended with the Tribe up 3-1.

The fourth period saw senior goalkeeper Morgan Connor come in for the Tribe. The Tribe had an impressive six unanswered shots within the first 10 minutes of the period that kept the Catamounts on defense. Sally Snead drew another penalty corner after this, on which Catamount goalkeeper Sierra Espeland saved a shot by Strik. At the end of the game, the final score was 3-1.

This game was a crucial turning point for the Tribe as it both continued the Tribe’s winning streak and inched it closer to a winning record. The Tribe’s 3-1 victory means that it is now advancing to be 3-4, while the Catamounts fall to a 4-5 record. The Tribe will look to continue its winning streak as it faces Longwood Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 6 p.m. at Busch Field in Williamsburg, Virginia.