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Field hockey eliminated from playoff contention

by Paul Cifonelli - Sports Editor
Tue, Oct 29th 2019 09:00 pm
Sophomore Cara Fox directs her teammates from the goal as a player from Oswego looks at her. The field hockey team lost 2-0 to SUNY Oneonta.
Sophomore Cara Fox directs her teammates from the goal as a player from Oswego looks at her. The field hockey team lost 2-0 to SUNY Oneonta.

Prior to the beginning of the 2019 season, there were not many big expectations for The College at Brockport field hockey team. Considering the team has 11 freshmen and no seniors, there was reason to expect another losing season.

This team seemed determined to exceed projections from the beginning of the season, starting the season 6—2 before SUNYAC play began. It defeated teams it had not in multiple seasons such as Nazarteth College and Utica College. The Golden Eagles outscored its opponents 31-13 over that span and surpassed their win totals from each of the past five seasons.

Brockport then hit the rough part of its schedule once conference play began, causing it to slip to 9—6 headed into a matchup with SUNY Oneonta. The Golden Eagles and Red Dragons were tied for the final playoff spot, with the loser being eliminated. While Brockport had defied expectations all season, it fell short in the game that mattered most.

Oneonta, who defeated Brockport 9-1 last season, came out firing and did not let up the pressure the entire game. The Red Dragons attempted five shots in the first quarter, which was more than the Golden Eagles took in the entire game. Freshman midfielder Ally McCrudden found the back of the cage on one of those shots for Oneonta, giving it an early 1-0 advantage. The onslaught continued into the second quarter, with Oneonta sending 11 shots at Brockport’s sophomore goalie Cara Fox in the first half. Only five of those shots were on the cage and Fox finished the half with four saves.

As Brockport became more hungry for a goal and saw time tick out, Oneonta continued to dominate possession in the third quarter and sent seven more shots in Fox’s direction. She saved three more, giving her seven in the game. Junior forward Meaghan Lurz put a shot on cage for Brockport in the third period, the team’s first and only shot on goal in the game. The fourth quarter was more of the same, with freshman forward Morgan Fleming scoring an insurance goal for the Red Dragons with just under 10 minutes to go in the game.

When the final buzzer sounded, Brockport’s postseason hopes were eliminated due to its 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Red Dragons.

While it may be difficult to look at positives after a game like that, one to take away from it was the play of Fox. She returned from injury midway through the season and took on the starting role just in time to face the toughest opponent of the season. Her play kept the team in multiple games against some of the highest ranked teams in the league and the country.

“It was really difficult because I had my good days and bad days, but my coaches and teammates were so helpful and supportive the whole time,” Fox said. “They were constantly reminding me to just breathe, reset and be positive. I don’t think I could have gotten to where I am without each and every one of them.”

Now that Brockport is officially eliminated from the SUNYAC Tournament, it has one more chance to take on a nationally-recognized team. SUNY Geneseo is the Golden Eagles’ final opponent and is sitting just outside the top 20 in the country. Geneseo is undefeated in SUNYAC play and will be the top seed in the conference tournament. Despite not appearing to have anything to gain from the game, Brockport is preparing for it like any other game.

“Geneseo is a very skilled team,” sophomore forward Katelynn Mello said. “We have watched film on them and taken note of their style of play. These next couple of practices we will be focusing on the areas we need to work on to expose their weak points and hopefully grind out one final win for our season.”

Brockport’s final chance to gain its 10th win of the season will be on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 4 p.m. at Geneseo.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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