Field Hockey 2-0 in dominant weekend

Colby Field Hockey enjoyed a banner weekend, crushing NESCAC foe Wesleyan University 4-0 on Saturday before a dominating 7-2 performance over Endicott College on Sunday. The victories bring the Mules’ winning streak to three and 5-6 overall (2-5 NESCAC).

The team entered Saturday’s game in need of a win to keep a playoff berth within reach. The winless Cardinals arrived on Mayflower Hill with similar intentions, in what had all the makings of a tight, physical battle. The game was close early on as both teams exchanged shots.

The tide gradually began to turn in the Mules’ favor as they forced the Wesleyan goalie into two saves midway through the half. The hosts turned the pressure up when forward Anna Rudinski ’19 steered in a quick shot from the right side on a cross from Kat Restrepo ’18. Despite their lead, the Mules trailed the visitors in shots 7-6 and penalty corners 5-3.

Colby’s defense stepped up their play in the second half; the Cardinals did not register another shot for the rest of the contest. Defensive strength set the Mules up to attack more freely and they did just that, scoring three goals in a six-minute span to put the game beyond doubt.

Merril Read ’19 kicked the offense into gear with her fifth goal of the season on a backhanded shot at 50:13. McKayla Blanch ’17 made it 3-0 just thirty seconds later with a hard shot to the right corner of the net after some excellent dribbling from Hannah Hearn ’17. The Mules finished off their scoring surge when Meredith Keenan ’18 received a pass from Kallie Hutchinson ’19, turned, and fired in a blistering shot.

The team faced a quick turnaround on Sunday for the second game of their doubleheader. But the Mules showed no signs of fatigue, with Hearn opening the scoring just 58 seconds into the first half. With a delfection off a penalty corner, Keenan doubled the lead after 24 minutes.  Danielle Smith ’18 and Blanch added a goal each for a 4-0 halftime cushion. The Mules up the pressure in the second half, adding 16 shots overall. Read and Hutchinson continued their impressive weekends, notching a goal apiece. The visiting Gulls eventually found their way through the hosts’ defense for two consolation goals midway through the half. Rudinski capped off the scoring in the 63rd minute to push the Mules’ total to seven. Colby goalie Riley Whitmeyer ’19 was outstanding in net, making eight saves.

The team will look to build on their successful weekend as they enter the home stretch of their season. The Mules sit in ninth place in the NESCAC, one spot out of the playoffs, with three games to go. Fortunately, their next three games come against the three teams directly above them in the standings, Amherst College, Hamilton College, and Bates College. The next two and a half weeks will determine the team’s postseason future; it’s certain to be an exciting ride.

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