Field Hockey loses to Bates 4-1, falls short of postseason

Colby Field Hockey closed out their season last Wednesday night with a 4-1 setback against Bates College. The Mules needed a win and needed Connecticut College to have a loss in order to qualify for NESCAC playoffs. The team ended their campaign with a 6-9 record overall, 2-8 in the league, enough for tenth place.

The Mules took the short trip down to Lewiston on Wednesday to face the rival Bobcats in the hopes of grabbing a playoff berth. The match started well, as midfielder Hannah Hearn ’17 opened the score with her fifth goal of season on an assist from Merrill Read ’19. But the lead didn’t last, as the hosts notched two quick goals late in the first half to make it 2-1 heading into the intermission.

The Mules adjusted during the break and began the second half knowing that their season was on the line. They managed to stall the Bobcats’ attack in the early exchanges and it looked like this would be another relatively even half of play. But Bates scored again in the 44th minute, forcing the visitors to push forward to get two goals back. Unfortunately, this left them vulnerable at the back and Bates added a fourth goal in the closing stages.

Colby’s season was one of ups and downs punctuated by exciting NESCAC wins over Williams College and Wesleyan University. The Mules can take heart in knowing that they had a chance to qualify for the playoffs on the final day of the season. Outside of the NESCAC, the team was dominant all season in non-conference play, scoring 23 goals while surrendering just eight in five games. They finished 4-1 out of conference, including a 6-1 shellacking of city rival Thomas College and a 7-2 mauling of Endicott College.

The Mules graduate five seniors—Tori Brown ’17, McKayla Blanch ’17, Caroline Ferguson ’17, Hearn, and Kaleigh Hoffman ’17. Incredibly, all five started all 15 games of the season and made significant contributions to their team’s success. Hoffman was a rock in the Mules defense and also collected an assist. Brown and Ferguson were linchpins in midfield, registering a goal and an assist apiece. Hearn served as the team’s offensive spark further forward in midfield, registering five goals and five assists. Blanch capped off her senior season by leading the team in points (21) and assists (seven), and tying for the lead in goals (seven).

With such an outstanding senior class, the Mules will have a lot to replace come next fall. But with emerging talents like midfielders Read and Kallie Hutchinson ’19 and goal threat Meredith Keenan ’18, the team looks to be in good hands for next season.

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