Field hockey tops Washington & Lee 1-10 in defensive battle

JOEY SEMEL, Editor-in-Chief — It was a pitcher’s duel, so to speak. 

In a defensive battle that saw only a combined nine shots on goal between the two sides, the Big Red finally struck in OT to top a strong Washington & Lee side. The game-winning goal came off of a blocked shot by Charlotte Godfrey ‘21. The ball fell nicely to Madeline Hunt ‘23 who tapped it in to close out the sudden-death OT.

Despite the Big-Red outshooting W&L 17-2, they were unable to get on the scoreboard during regulation.

Godfrey paced the Big Red attack, tallying five out of the seven shots on goal for the Big Red. Hunt and Meg Baylis ‘23 recorded the other two shots on goal for Denison.

Liza Higley ‘21 spoke to the team’s gameplan going into the game.

“Our main objective for today’s game was to capitalize on scoring opportunities and make the most of each and every two minutes on the field. While we struggled to get past W&L’s defensive end early on, we were proud that our practice paid off as we were able to find the back of the cage on a penalty corner in the first few minutes of overtime play,” Higley said.

This game came off of the heels of a tough 2-1 loss at the hands of a Washington & Jefferson team that opened the season ranked #17 in the country. Denison was in the “also receiving votes” section.

Higley spoke to how the team can use the momentum from an OT win like the one on Sunday.

“Every game is a learning experience, and today’s contest was no exception. We’ve been working hard on our transfer passing, overlaps and stick to stick connections so far this season, and it was nice to see our team really start to connect on the field. Today’s win definitely gave us confidence going into conference play and we look forward to bringing the same intensity to our game against Wittenberg this coming Thursday,” Higley said.

As for the rest of the year, the team is looking to build off of back to back NCAA tournament appearances in 2017 and 2018. Unfortunately for the team, those tournament runs both ended in the first round.

“Following a tough loss in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year, our team has definitely returned with a sense of intensity and fire. We have been working hard all off season and all preseason to bear down in our offensive end and work on flat defensive outlet passing to minimize our opponent’s scoring opportunities,” Higley said. 

Higley is in a new role as well. Now an upperclassman, leadership duties in part fall on her shoulders.

“It has been great to see our freshman begin to gel with our returners on and off the field. We are lucky to have an awesome class of first years who have brought a lot of renewed positivity and motivation this season. We have been able to foster an incredibly supportive team culture these past few years, and as an upperclassman, it has been great to see this DUFH tradition continue.”

Up next the Big Red will look to improve upon their 3-1 record when they  hit the road to take on the Wittenberg Tigers in Springfield, Ohio on Thursday, September 12.

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