Field Hockey rides hot streak in 2-1 win over Wesleyan

The Colby Field Hockey Team won the fourth of their previous five games this past Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Wesleyan University. The win moves the Mules up to a sixth-place tie in the NESCAC standings with just five games left on their schedule.

Star forward Georgia Cassidy ’20 led the assault on the Cardinal defense, scoring the team’s only two goals in the first half. Her first came early, with just five minutes into the game. A pass from Merel van Gijzen ’21 set Cassidy up for a shot on net from the doorstep. The Wesleyan goalie failed to stop her last and the Mules took a 1-0 lead.

Following an impressive defensive series where Colby managed to prevent a single shot-on-goal, the Mules took control of the ball with 14 minutes to play. A pair of shots by Delaney Keithley ’21 and Merrill Read ’19 were saved by the Wesleyan goalie. When Cassidy got the ball, she was able to create a shot from a distance that sent the ball right into the net.

Cassidy should be used to making her own plays by now. Her second goal gave her 12 on the season, which leads the team and ties her for second in the NESCAC. Cassidy’s goals are impressive, especially for a sophomore, but this statistical success has not shown itself in her passing game. She has just one assist on the year and her performance is representative of her entire team. The Mules have just nine assists on 23 goals. Though the lack of assists may speak to the players’ abilities to create their own scoring opportunities, it may be a problem when they face a strong team that forces a passing attack.

Fortunately for the Mules, Wesleyan was not one of those teams. The Cardinal defense has forfeited 30 goals this year, while their offense has had trouble scoring,  and Colby defense held the team to just three shots-on-goal. Colby goalie Riley Whitmyer ’19 let in one to bring the game to its final score of 2-1.

The goal was uncharacteristic of Whitmyer, who leads the league in save percentage (.833). She has played every minute of the season and has five shutouts.

Though the score was close, players on the team felt the win highlighted the team’s strengths. After the game, captain Kat Restrepo ’18 spoke about the team’s chemistry this season. “We’re really starting to mesh as a team and understand each other,” she said. “The combination of that and the amount of talent we have this year is exciting.”

The team will need this chemistry and talent down the final stretch of games. The win brings the field hockey team to a 7-3 record, though they remain 3-3 against NESCAC teams. With a home game against Amherst College (8-2 overall, 4-2 in conference play) on Saturday followed by a Sunday trip to Brunswick to take on rival Bowdoin College (6-4 overall, 3-3 in conference games), the Mules have an opportunity to  build on their recent success and prove they are a legitimate threat in the NESCAC. For a team searching to be in the playoffs for the first time in three years, two more conference wins would go a long way. Their push for the playoffs begins Saturday, Oct. 15 at 11 a.m.