Despite Losses, FH Gains Valuable Experience
The Oberlin field hockey team traveled to New York to play in the Heron Invitational. Although the team came away winless, the experience gained could prove vital in the conference season ahead.
Oberlin faced two undefeated and nationally ranked opponents: #11 William Smith College (3-0) and #12 St. Lawrence University (5-0). Oberlin ended of the weekend winless.
Oberlin’s first match of the invitational was against #11 William Smith College. Oberlin did not have an ideal start to the game, as Oberlin lost senior midfielder Kaitlin Barrer to injury in the first five minutes. Fortunately, though she needed several stitches, she was able to play in the second match.
This loss was doubly painful because Oberlin was already playing without first-year starter Taylor Rogers. The empty slots were filled by second-years Hannah Gallo and Danielle Gilliam and first-year Natasha Cohan, who performed with great poise.
With several injuries, senior goalkeeper Lauren Malinowski was impressed with how the substitute players performed. “They really stepped it up,” said Malinowski.
Oberlin was also at a disadvantage because the game was on Astroturf and Oberlin normally plays on grass. As second-year Maddie Fierstein said, “It was a much faster game on Astroturf.”
William Smith dominated the game with 27 shots while at the same time only allowing five for Oberlin. Malinowski continued her excellent play and had a game-high 11 saves. Oberlin’s lone goal was scored by sophomore sensation Catherine Meredith; it was the first goal given up by William Smith all season.
“What was good about [William Smith] was they were able to score off tips,” said Malinowski. A tip is when a player deflects the ball on a single touch using the tip of the stick. Malinowski explained that as a defender, it is hard to judge in which direction the ball will be sent.
Although the Herons scored seven times, the loss was not too disheartening because William Smith is one of the best teams in the nation.
In the team’s second game, Oberlin was shut out by St. Lawrence University. Oberlin only had two shots on goal while St. Lawrence had 27. Malinowski had a season-high 16 saves in the game. The Saints scored three goals early in the first half, led by Carling Delaney’s two goals. The Saints scored twice later in the second half, making the final score 5-0.
Oberlin faced Wooster in a home game on Thursday, losing 2-3. Although Wooster won the conference last year and was ranked first in preseason rankings, it lost all of its conference games including a shutout by Kenyon last week.
Senior Christine Politis and first-year Taylor Rogers scored for the Yeowomen, who dropped to 3-5 overall on the season and 2-2 in league play. Malinowski had 11 saves, while Oberlin had 15 shots and led in penalty corners 13-12.
As for the upcoming conference games, Malinowski is optimistic that last weekend’s defeats will not be in vain. “We should be able to step up our play after battling two ranked teams,” said Malinowski.