Field Hockey falls to Williams in close game

The 17th nationally ranked Colby Mules fell to 11th ranked Williams Ephs on homecoming weekend this Saturday. Colby is now 6-2 on the season, 4-2 in conference, while Williams is 9-1 on the season and 6-1 in conference. Both teams got off to scorching starts to their seasons and the matchup should have been a close one.

Colby was riding their second three game win streak of the season, sandwiching a tough 3-2 loss to  number five ranked Tufts back in September. Coincidentally, the Ephs lost their season opener to Tufts, but have won a whopping nine games since their disappointing start.

The game started out in deadlock as both teams battled out a scoreless first quarter. Although, Colby was already showing signs of being outclassed, not getting a single shot off to Williams’ three. Williams’ midfielder Catherine Torres `23 opened the scoring just before minute 22 of play and Shea van den Broek `23 doubled their lead just three minutes later; both goals were unassisted. 

Though the Mules were down two goals at half, the team started to swing the momentum in their favor. The Mules tightened up defensively, allowing only a single shot. They even had two shots of their own, seeming to recover from mistakes made in the first quarter. Despite slight improvements, the end of the third quarter left Colby with a 3-0 hole to dig out of and not enough time.

The fourth quarter was close. Both defenses were worn down by the contentious matchup, letting up a goal each. Van de Broek `23 got her second goal for the Ephs in minute 53, while Colby’s Lauren Walter `21 managed to get by the Williams goalkeeper with an assist from Delaney Keithley `21.

Penalty corners, or set-pieces awarded after a defensive penalty provide great scoring opportunities, are incredibly difficult to defend. Williams racked up a wild 14 penalty corners compared to a measly five for Colby. Often translating their penalty corners into goals or at the very least shots, Williams more than doubled Colby’s shot count with 11 to the Mules’ five. Williams seemed to dominate the stat line, but Colby’s goalie Emily Buckman ‘20 managed six saves. Williams’ goalkeeper Abby Lloyd made three saves.

Despite the loss, now is far too early to give up hope in Colby field hockey for the season. They have only two close losses and rest solidly at fifth in the NESCAC standings. Their 4-2 conference record is influential, putting above the likes of Bates and Amherst who also have six wins on the season. This week’s slight setback will only motivate the group towards a swift come back and push into the postseason.

Looking forward, the Mules will drive down to Biddeford, Maine to take on the University of New England (UNE) Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. The Nor’easters are 6-6 this year with a notable loss to Trinity College early in September. UNE took Trinity to overtime before losing 3-2 while the Mules actually played Trinity the day before in Waterville. Colby defeated the Bantams comfortably, 3-1. The Mules are set up perfectly to get back to their winning ways.

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