Field hockey picks up eighth straight win at home

Anna Carroll, Contributing Writer

The Bison field hockey team took a break from Patriot League play to play Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) at home on Sept. 30. The Bison defeated the Rams 3-2, improving their overall record to 6-4 and ending VCU’s five-game winning streak. This win marked the eighth straight victory at Graham Field dating back to last season.

Both teams played with intensity and grit from the first whistle, each gaining opportunities in their respective attacking circles. VCU struck first, scoring on a goal resulting from a corner coming from Emily McNamara, the leading goal-scorer in the country.

Refusing to allow the Rams to gain momentum, the Bison quickly evened the score at 1-1 when Lexi Quick ’19 scored her fifth goal of the season off an assist from Brittany Willwerth ’20 off a corner.

Just a few moments later, Willwerth pressured the opposition’s center back, coming up with a tackle and earning a penalty stroke. Willwerth converted this stroke to a goal, her seventh of the season.

Before heading into halftime, Nicole Rupnik ’19 tipped a speedy ball sent from Quick off a corner, rocketing the ball into the goal off the near post. This was Rupnik’s sixth goal of the season.

With just over 20 minutes left in regulation play, VCU added another goal, cutting the Bison’s lead to 3-2. The Bison battled until the final seconds and held on to secure the victory.

The performance of goalkeeper Olivia Harris ’20 proved crucial for the Orange and Blue, as she totaled nine saves against the fifth-highest scoring team in the country. This career high came in large part as a result of stopping seven of the eight shots Harris faced in the first half alone.

“The best moment of the match was when we scored the second goal off a stroke. Even though we were still being outshot, cementing that second goal motivated me to keep the game in our favor as best as I possibly could,” Harris said.

The team will be back in action this weekend at home in a key Patriot League matchup against American on Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. The Bison will then host Yale for a non-conference game on Oct. 7 at 3 p.m.

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