The field hockey team shut out three opponents as they won their bracket at the Midwest Field Hockey Coach's Association tournament Friday and Saturday in Green Castle, Ind.
The tournament victories - 3-0 over Hanover College, 2-0 over Transylvania University and 1-0 over Centre College - gave the Yeowomen an overall record of 10-11.
Junior Ellen Scott scored all three goals in the game Saturday against Hanover. Scott was among the conference's scoring leaders during the season.
In Saturday's second game, against Transylvania, junior Kate Daloz and first-year Lydia Ries scored and in the final game, Ries picked up another goal.
Oberlin extended its string of consecutive shutouts to four games during the tournament marked by weather so cold a ball shattered during play.
Oberlin's defense didn't allow a single goal in eight of its games. The defense was a strength for the Yeowomen, even when the team's offense floundered a bit. Many players helped the defensive efforts.
"There were games when each person really got to excel and role model," Manolovich said. She pointed especially to senior Karen Vastine, who battled knee problems as she played. "Her patience and skill kept other teams from penetrating the goal."
The Yeowomen held their opponents to 35 goals - less than two per game. The offense scored 42 times.
But during the seven consecutive mid-season losses, the team scored just four times. "Our valley was about attack," Manolovich said. "We weren't scoring. Toward the end we became more of a scoring threat."
But the reasons behind the team's turn-around isn't so simple. "It's really hard to pin down," senior Zelda Menard said. "It would be easy to win all the time if we could pin down what works and what doesn't."
The team's record represents a drastic improvement over a 3-15 season a year ago.
This season was coach Mindy Manolovich's second for the Yeowomen and the first in which the team implemented its amoeba system, a tactic that requires players to work exceptionally closely.
And it was a season when the team didn't drink alcohol, which Manolovich said helped to bring the team together so it could deal with complex new systems.
Oberlin had two especially big wins in NCAC play. In the season's third game Sept. 14, the Yeowomen beat defending NCAC champion Ohio Wesleyan University 3-2 on a heroic goal by senior Jessica Resnik.
Then, in the game that snapped the team's seven game slide, they played the College of Wooster, then the top team in the conference. It took two overtimes and a last-minute Ellen Scott goal to win the Oct. 16 contest.
"When you play those kinds of games and you win, it sets a precedent for how you should play all the time," Resnik said.
Resnik and Scott, the Yeowomen's two biggest scorers did not play on the team last year.
Despite those two big wins, Oberlin achieved only sixth place among the NCAC's seven field hockey teams. The top six teams, though, were all close and play among them was balanced.
The team is losing seniors Resnik, Becky Givam, who ranked among the conference's best goalkeepers, Menard, Kaelyn Stiles and Vastine.
A core of young players, including many talented first-years will be returning. "The seniors will be missed," Manolovich said. "But I'm very excited for next year's team."
Copyright © 1996, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 125, Number 8; November 8, 1996
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