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Field hockey experiencing offensive blues

by Paul Cifonelli - Contributing Writer
Tue, Sep 11th 2018 10:00 pm
Sophomore forward, Katie Ziemba whacks the ball at midfield, sending it into opposition territory. Brockport lost to Nazareth in a grueling defensive battle. The final score ended up being 1-0 as Nazareth scored the only goal of the game in overtime.
Sophomore forward, Katie Ziemba whacks the ball at midfield, sending it into opposition territory. Brockport lost to Nazareth in a grueling defensive battle. The final score ended up being 1-0 as Nazareth scored the only goal of the game in overtime.

As with every other team in every sport, The College at Brockport women’s field hockey team experiences ups and downs. After starting the season with a 4-2 victory over Keuka, the Golden Eagles dealt with a few setbacks. However, this win against Keuka cannot go unmentioned.

The victory gives Brockport a 4—0 advantage in the all-time series between the teams. All of these meetings have occured in the last four years, with the last three opening the season. This is the only time Brockport will face Keuka, so the focus has now shifted to beating another team.

Wednesday, Sept. 5, provided the next challenge for the Golden Eagles. They took on the Nazareth Golden Flyers, who are a rebuilding program themselves. Despite having a 2—16 record in the 2017 season, Nazareth did defeat Brockport in their only meeting last year. With the Golden Eagles looking for revenge, the two teams played a competitive game from start to finish.

Nazareth controlled possession most of the game. They outshot Brockport 25-10 and also took 10 more corners. With around 25 minutes left in the second half, the Golden Flyers took three corners and failed to convert on all of them. Brockport goalie, Adriana DeDie, was the main reason for Nazareth’s lack of success on corners. She finished the game with 11 saves.

Brockport’s offense could not get going, only putting three shots on goal all game. Katie Ziemba, Katelynn Mello and Meaghan Lurz took the shots for the Golden Eagles, but none of them were able to find the back of the goal. Head coach Krista Archambeau saw this problem developing and knew she had to address it.

“We needed to support our defense more and also connect more offensively. We had opportunities in the circle to score and we needed to finish,”  Archambeau said.

The halftime adjustment did not seem to help this time. The defense stayed rock-solid and did not allow a regulation goal. The offense, however, continued to struggle.

Since neither team could open the scoring during regulation, the game was forced into a sudden death overtime. Nazareth’s Jennifer Hilts scored the game-winning goal in the 84’ minute off a corner.

Despite allowing 13 corners and conceding the winning goal on one, Archambeau was not worried about the amount of opportunities Nazareth had near the goal.

“I’m very confident in our corner defense unit. They played strong and made huge plays to keep us in the game,” Archambeau said. “Her team’s defense was strong that night, but slipped up once, which allowed the game to end.”

Rebounding from a loss like that is never easy. The following days at practice are crucial for success following an emotional loss. During the next few practices the coaching staff stressed communication, just as they have all season.

“Communication is a big thing with our team so if communication gets low then the team gets low,” sophomore forward Katie Ziemba said.

The few days at practice were not enough to lead them to a win, though. The Golden Eagles traveled to Oneonta, NY to take on the Hartwick Hawks. While Brockport has been struggling in recent years, the Hawks are not. They are coming off an 11—6 season, and have won at least ten games in each of the last two. This was a matchup of two programs on different ends of the spectrum.

Hartwick showed their dominance early and often, defeating Brockport 8-1. The Golden Eagles could only muster four shots on goal, while the Hawks had 19. Katelynn Mello scored the lone goal for Brockport, which was also the first of her collegiate career.

Brockport plays next on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at the University of Rochester and Sunday, Sept. 16, at Sage College.

 

pcifo1@brockport.edu | @Pcifonelli

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