Offense wins games, defense wins championships.
If that mantra holds true, it could be a good sign for Denison women’s field hockey, as they have allowed all of one goal in their last three contests.
That defensive boost has come as a result of added pressure, according to forward/midfielder Liza Higley ‘21
“Our entire team has been working hard to apply pressure on the defensive end and to recover and work together on breakaways,” Higley said.
That teamwork has also been important. “Our ability to work together on defense has allowed us to be successful in stopping the ball in our defensive end, and this communication and tight pressure has led to a lot of our success. Our entire team has been working hard to communicate double teams and execute on them, and it’s nice to see our stats reflect this,” Higley said.
The first win came over 20th ranked Washington and Lee by a score of 3-1.
After a W&L tied the game with a little bit over 20 minutes to play, the Big Red converted a penalty corner off of the stick of Abby Scully ‘21. They added an insurance goal when AC Veith ‘22 netted her first goal for the Big Red.
In a dominant win for the Big Red, they outshot Washington and Lee 18-3. The offense did not stop there.
Staying hot from their previous upset win, the Big Red topped Oberlin 6-0. This time they outshot Oberlin 36-2 in what was a display of dominance.
According to Higley, the team’s pace both in the attack and in the midfield has given the Big Red their push on offense.
“We have a very fast team and a solid midfield, and this has allowed us to be very successful on breakaways and given us a lot of scoring opportunities. We’ve been working hard on connecting with our passes and drawing corners and fouls in our offensive end, and this has translated to a whole lot of scoring opportunities, many of which have been successful. Our high scoring stats this past week are really a reflection of the whole team’s effort and intensity in the offensive end,” Higley said.
In their final game of the week, they handed conference foe Wooster their first loss of the year, topping the Fighting Scots 2-0 to stay undefeated in the North Coast Athletic Conference. It was Scully and Alyssa Bahel ‘19 who added the tallies in that one for the Big Red.
As for the rest of the year, continued hard work and motivation are driving the team.
“We’ve been working very hard in the spring and this past summer to emulate last year’s success, with plans to go even further in the NCAA tournament. We ended last season with a very disappointing double overtime loss in the first round of the NCAA tournament. This loss has contributed to a really unique motivation and intensity on the team this year– everyone is ready to work hard and no one is complacent,” Higley said.
Catch the team back in action as they take on Washington & Jefferson on Thursday, September 20 right here in Granville.