Field hockey drops two in opening weekend

Anna Carroll, Contributing Writer

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The Bison field hockey team took on Longwood on Aug. 24 in Farmville, Va., losing 2-1 in a hard-fought battle. Two days later, on Aug. 26, the Bison fell 3-0 to James Madison.

Longwood opened the game with a goal off a corner with 8:53 minutes left in the first half. Fighting back, the Bison earned themselves a corner, which ultimately resulted in a goal. Brittany Willwerth ’20 and Alexis Quick ’19 assisted Nicole Rupnik ’19’s shot, evening the score going into the second half.

Longwood’s goalkeeper played a pivotal role in the result, denying three shots by the Bison in the final minutes of the game. In a series of scoring opportunities, Kaelyn Long ’21, Quick, and Rupnik all fired shots but were denied. Marisa Morakis ’20 took a final attempt at the three minute mark, falling short.

Bison goalkeeper Olivia Harris ’20 finished with three saves while defender Sally Olson ’19 came up with a defensive save on another Longwood corner. Fighting until the end, the Orange and Blue concluded the contest holding a 14-11 advantage in shots.

The team continued their journey in Virginia on Aug. 26, facing No. 17 James Madison. The Dukes controlled the first half, coming out with an early 2-0 lead. Chloe Poltonavage ’20 and M.C. Evans ’19 recorded two shots apiece while Quick, Claire Lesher ’19, Long, and Katie Mannino ’19 each recorded one. Harris had a strong performance for the Bison with a career-high eight saves.

Despite strong Bison efforts in the second half, the James Madison goalkeeper triumphed with a 3-0 shutout.

“When thinking about our team’s core values—grit, gratitude, and growth mindset—it is important to consider each game and practice as an opportunity to improve on all of these areas,” Poltonavage said. “This weekend, our games with both Longwood and JMU helped bring our improvement points to surface and expose what we need to work on heading into our big home-opener against Cornell on Friday night.”

The Bison will be back in action on the brand new Graham Field on Aug. 31 for their home opener against Cornell. The team will then look to finish the weekend with a victory on Sept. 2 against Richmond.

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