Field hockey earns runner-up in League tournament

Makenna Cerney, Contributing Writer

Bison field hockey beat second-seeded American University 2-1 in a shootout in the semifinal round of the Patriot League tournament on Nov. 3 to advance to the final round on Nov. 5. The Orange and Blue concluded their season with a runner-up finish, falling short to Boston 2-1 in the championship game.

In the semifinal, the Bison challenged American the whole game, holding them off from scoring until the second half. With only 14 minutes remaining, American scored a goal. The Orange and Blue pulled their goalie and decided to add an extra field player in hopes to generate more offense. This strategy was successful as Nicole Rupnik ’19 scored an equalizer with around three minutes remaining, sending the game into overtime.

After two scoreless extra periods, the game went into a shootout. American could not match the Bison, who converted their first three shots from Chloe Poltonavage ’20, M.C. Evans ’19, and Kaelyn Long ’21. Emily Finn ’18 stopped all three attempts that came her way, in addition to the 11 saves she made during the 100 minutes of play, leading the Orange and Blue to victory. This finish advanced them to the Patriot League title game against first-seeded Boston.

“We were extremely happy to pull off the win on Friday in shootouts, but we knew we needed to improve in order to be competitive with Boston. Emily Finn was a big component in this game, having 11 saves in regulation and three stops in shootouts,” Sally Olson ’19 said.

Following this match, on Nov. 5 the Bison endured a tough battle against Boston. Dominating the first half, the Bison led the game 1-0 at halftime with a goal from Leah Fogelsanger ’21. This tie would hold for over 43 minutes, until roles reversed when, with 17 minutes left, Boston scored, tying the game 1-1. Soon after, with only two minutes remaining, the Terriers penetrated the defense once again to score another goal over the Orange and Blue, handing the Bison a 2-1 championship loss.

“Heading into Friday’s playoff game, we wanted to play better against American than we did in regular season. Coming off the American win and heading into the final, we wanted to play like us which meant displaying grit, one of this season’s values,” Olson said.

“We played well all weekend and are upset we couldn’t come away with the win, but know we left it all on the field and were happy to have made it to the championship game on Sunday,” Allie Christopher ’20 said.

The tournament run topped off a notable season for the Orange and Blue, capping their overall season record at 10-10. Finn, Stephanie Dressler ’18, and Lexi Quick ’19 were named to the Patriot League All-Tournament team.

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