Field hockey splits games over the weekend
By Noah Reichblum, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Coming off a third-place finish in the Ivy League standings in 2011, the Dartmouth field hockey team has its sights set on the league crown for 2012. The Big Green opened with a 3-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts before dropping a 4-1 decision to Northeastern University over the weekend.
On Friday, the Big Green jumped out to an early lead against UMass and cruised to victory. Dartmouth co-captain Lisa Masini ’13 scored 1:35 into the game, giving the Big Green a momentum boost that lasted throughout the match.
“It was huge, and it set the tone for the game,” co-captain Maya Herm ’13 said.
Masini, who earned All-Ivy Second Team honors in 2011, will anchor a midfield alongside Herm. As a unit, the team’s midfield’s biggest asset is its adaptability.
“I think we all play well off of each other’s strengths as well as our weaknesses, and that’s exactly what you need in a midfield,” Herm said.
The Big Green continued to dominate play into the second half, as Masini built Dartmouth’s lead to 2-0, following a deflection on shot by forward Ali Savage ’15.
Last year, Savage scored 12 goals and notched 27 points in an impressive rookie campaign. She will help anchor an attack line that has to replace one of Dartmouth’s all-time greats, Kelly Hood ’12, who led the Big Green in scoring each of her four years. Hood currently holds the program’s all-time scoring record.
“We are a team that can score front to back,” Herm said. “It goes back to the depth we have on the team.”
After surrendering a goal in the 47th minute, Dartmouth rebounded as newcomer Brooke Van Valkenburg ’16 notched her first collegiate goal in the 59th minute of play.
Valkenburg, a member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association team as a high school senior, is one of five new players to join the Big Green.
Accompanying Valkenburg are Clare Detrick-Yee ’16, Jessica Barfield ’16, Eliza Becker ’16 and Tabitha Sabky ’16.
“We have five really incredible freshmen that are already seeing a lot of time, which I think speaks very well for our program,” Herm said.
The Big Green finished the second half strong against UMass, garnering more corners than the Minutemen and surrendering zero penalties.
“As a team, we always set goals for the season, and a small quantitative goal is to always win the second half,” Herm said.
Defense also played well, only allowing six shots in the second half.
“Defensively, we have been working on creating predictability — being able to be predictable on our individual defense, and giving the goalie easy shots to save,” defender Olivia Quaglia ’14 said.
Prior to Friday’s match, the Minutemen, who had vanquished No. 15 Ohio State University and No. 18 University of New Hampshire at the beginning of their season, held a 31-9 all-time advantage against the Big Green.
On Sunday, playing in front of the home crowd, the Big Green could not slow down Northeastern’s blistering attack. The Huskies’ Crystal Poland notched a hat trick, as she quickly scored at the 2:55 and 9:13 marks in the first half, and again at the 1:28 mark in the second half.
Combined with Caroline Judge’s goal 4:42 into the game, Northeastern held a 3-0 lead after just 10 minutes of play.
“It was just kind of a fluke start — we started out a little flat in the first five minutes, and that’s enough to put you at a disadvantage,” Herm said.
Finding itself at a 3-0 deficit, the Big Green added an additional defender to its back line to slow down the Huskies’ attack. The team had tested its four-person defense in a 3-2 exhibition win against the University of Victoria on Aug. 27.
Defender Liz Blanken ’13, who made five of the Big Green’s 10 shots during the game, got the Big Green on the board with 10 minutes left in the game.
Blanken’s goal came off of an insert at the top of the circle. Masini fed Blanken the ball off of a corner and was awarded the assist.
“In terms of strengths as a team, it comes from a lot of people being able to contribute at different positions in the field,” Herm said.
The Big Green will next take the field this weekend against No. 1 University of Maryland and No. 25 American University at the Terrapin Invitational in Maryland.
“The chance to play Maryland will only help us,” Herm said. “Regardless of the outcome, we always go in expecting to win.”