Field hockey continues to struggle

Sam Tapper Sports Writer

The Owl’s field hockey team lost to their Elm City rivals, the New Haven Chargers, 1-0, despite their offensive strategy and yet another solid performance from their goalkeeper.

Though the Owls displayed one of their better offensive efforts, they could not find a way to score. Instead, the team relied once again on their senior goalkeeper Briana Craft, who leads division 2 goalies in saves.

Craft finished with 10 saves for the night, which brought her season total to 96 for the year, which is first in that category. For Craft, success starts with practice and having the right concentration.

“In practice, we always practice getting the second or third shots,” Craft said, “[because] the first one I know I can save, but it’s the second or third ones that usually go in.”

Craft’s play has grown over her years of playing and has come to be one of the better instinctively playing goalies in Division II.

“I’m more of a reactive keeper then a strategic keep,” Craft said, “Some people say I’m unorthodox. I really have no strategy; I’m just trying to stop the ball.”

Goalkeeping coach Sarah Williams stressed the importance of having a player like Craft in the program.

“Since her freshman year, she has come in that starting role and just grown to be a smarter keeper,” Williams said. “She’s learning to see things transpire before they transpire, which makes her job a lot easier.”

Coach Williams praised Craft’s ability to rebound from save to save, particularly during this game. There were two times in the game where Craft saved three shots in a row in a single offensive onslaught.

With less than ten minutes left on the clock, an unassisted one-timer from the Chargers, that snuck through the defense and under the leg of Craft, sealed the game.

The Owls finished the game with a total of three shots, two of which were on goal. Despite this seemingly low number, the Owls had a lot of offensive momentum throughout the game.

There were many times in which the Owls camped around the Charger’s net only for a defender to slap the ball away or steal it. At times throughout the game, the Owls offense seemed to lean on forward Kaitlyn Bourque, a freshman. Bourque helped with the offensive synergy by being a key player when moving the ball down field.

“Looking at those spaces and pushing the ball up, working with my teammates and getting those two-on-one’s were all things that worked particularly well today,” said Bourque.

The next game for the Owls will be an away game on Saturday at Saint Micheal’s in Vt. Saint Micheal’s is 1-8. This could prove to be Southern’s saving grace, because the Owls are at a 15-14 all-time record against the Purple Knights, but picked up their only win last time out against Bentley.

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