Field hockey rides explosive offense to 6-5 win over Bryant
By Jake Bayer
Published on Thursday, September 20, 2012
In the first of its two home games this week, the Dartmouth women’s field hockey team defeated Bryant University, 6-5, on Wednesday afternoon due to a balanced offensive attack and an early 4-0 lead. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Big Green (2-4, 0-1 Ivy) and gave the team a confidence boost before its next game against Brown University on Saturday.
The victory over Bryant (2-6) gave the Big Green a perfect 5-0 all-time record against the Bulldogs. Each of Dartmouth’s six goals came from a different player, combining for the highest goal total in a game so far this season. The offensive outburst was overdue for a Big Green squad that had only scored one goal in its previous three games.
“Everyone who got in contributed really well,” co-captain Maya Herm ’13 said.
Defenseman Liz Blanken ’13, midfielder Lisa Masini ’13, forward Maggie Scanlon ’14 and midfielder Brooke Van Valkenburg ’16 scored the first four goals of the game. Forwards Sam Anderson ’14 and Samantha McPherson ’13 tallied important insurance goals for the Big Green to ward off the Bulldogs in the second half.
“Our bench is so deep — we have many good players,” Masini said.
Dartmouth led the entire game thanks to three quick scores in the first 13 minutes, giving the team a 4-1 halftime lead. Less than two minutes into the game, Blanken scored off of a penalty corner to put Dartmouth on the board.
Masini added onto the lead at the 15-minute mark, scoring off of a turnover on a unassisted goal, her fourth of the season. Scanlon and Van Valkenburg teamed up for the game’s next two tallies, registering a goal and an assist each.
“We started off really strong,” Herm said.
Bryant was never able to recover from the early hole but managed to scare the Big Green in the second half. The Bulldogs scored with 14 seconds left in the first half and tallied the first two goals after halftime.
Dartmouth answered six minutes later with a much-needed goal from Anderson off of a rebounded shot by Herm. McPherson extended the Dartmouth lead to three when she took off from midfield, went around a Bryant defender near the circle and hit the back of the net with just under eight minutes to go.
Bryant sophomore Rosie Bird, who already had two unassisted goals in the game, scored two more goals within the final four minutes, putting Bryant within one with only 19 seconds remaining. Dartmouth held off the Bulldogs as the clock ticked down to secure the victory.
“Everyone played hard, and people had good goals,” Masini said.
Despite the close final score, Dartmouth held a 20-14 lead in shots taken and a 9-3 lead in penalty corners. Masini said that the team “needs to focus on playing the full 70 [minutes]” to not allow the type of goals that Bryant scored at the end of the halves.
Before its win over Brown (2-3, 0-1 Ivy) on Friday, the Bulldogs had dropped their last five games after the team’s victory in its opener against Colgate University.
Looking forward to this Friday’s matchup against the same Brown team, the Big Green players expect a challenge. Scanlon said that Dartmouth needs to focus on improving in different areas in preparation for the upcoming conference games.
After losing on the road to Bryant, 2-0, Brown also dropped its first Ivy League game to Columbia University at home, 4-1, on Sunday.
“We’re going to take it to them,” Herm said of the Big Green’s next opponent.
The Bears will come to Hanover on a two-game losing streak and with a struggling offense that has failed to put together more than four goals in any of its games so far this season. The offense has tallied two total goals in the teams’ three losses.
The game will feature family ravalries, as Brown midfielder Anna Masini will go up against older sister Lisa Masini. The two teams will square off on Chase AstroTurf Field on Saturday at 12 p.m.
“I’m excited to play them,” the older Masini said.