Field hockey losing streak reaches 13 with Homecoming loss to No. 3 Merrimack College
Matt Gad – Contributor
Coming into their matchup with No. 3 Merrimack, the winless Owls had a tough test ahead of them. Merrimack though, had to mount a comeback against the Owls to take the victory.
The team, which has not won a field hockey game since Sept. 20 of last year, battled, taking the game’s first lead when senior Natasha Prukalski put it past Merrimack goalkeeper Katharina Ohmen. But from there on out the Warriors scored three goals, the latter two coming in the second half, for their 3-1 victory to improve to 11-7 and 7-0 in the Northeast-10 this season.
“Win or lose you gotta come out and play the game,” head coach Kelley Frassinelli said. “For them it’s rewarding to see the positives that are coming from the work that they’re doing that will help, at some point, when we hit that point where they’re gonna put it on the other side — the winning side.”
The team’s last two games have now both come against nationally-ranked opponents. Followed by a game on Oct. 17, they lost another 3-1 turnout, losing to No. 4 Pace.
“We’re finding our way in defense and in offense and making the better passes and better transitions,” junior co-captain and starting goalkeeper Brianna Craft said. “We have nothing to lose.”
Craft recorded 26 saves in the loss, a new season high. She has received most of the work in goal this season but has been relieved at times by senior Kelli McCombs.
“We’re super proud of the amount of work that we’re doing,” Frassinelli said. “The point is that we’re figuring things out and we’re finding the right people to put in those spaces. They’re certainly stepping up to the challenge and it’s something we’ve been able to do all season.”
Despite the poor overall record, senior co-captain Jana Migliaro said that the team still comes out to compete.
“Even though our record isn’t what we want it to be we still come out every game,” she said. “We get up for every game. We come out for practice everyday wanting to be there and we have fun. We work together and no one’s giving up.”
The squad comes back to Jess Dow Field Saturday for an 11 a.m. contest with Saint Michael’s, a team that is currently 1-10 overall and 1-6 in conference play.
The Owls have only ever recorded one truly winless campaign in program history. In 1979, they went 0-11. They were held without a win in 1994 as well but they played to one draw, making their record 0-14-1.
“Some of the upperclassmen are still trying to figure out what they’re supposed to be doing on the field. You have to have great leadership and I think the team has come to be the leaders of this group — it’s not necessarily the upperclassmen.”
Three of their final four games this year will be at home. After Saturday’s contest, they will travel to Brookville, N.Y. to face off against LIU Post, which is currently 8-3 and 7-2 in their conference, and then they will be home for Stonehill Nov. 3 at 5 p.m. and Adelphi Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. for senior night.
Photo Credit: Jenna Stepleman