After travelling to Connecticut last weekend for their first games of the season, the field hockey team rebounded from a shutout loss to the Connecticut Huskies and triumphed over the Fairfield Stags on an overtime goal by forward Kiersten Sydnor ’16. After the series, Sydnor was recognized as the Patriot League Rookie of the Week, and goalie Erica Perrine ’14 received Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honors.
“This is the first time in a few years we have split our opening weekend. This weekend provided a great starting point for us moving into a bunch of home games this month,” head coach Jeremy Cook said.
The Bison (1-1) managed little offensively in Saturday’s 3-0 loss against nationally sixth ranked Connecticut, but the defense put in a strong effort to keep the Orange and Blue close. Perrine allowed only three goals, blocking 10 of Connecticut’s 23 shot attempts.
“Playing against the number six team in the country was definitely a challenge, but it was a good season-opener because it allowed us to showcase our talent and it exposed our weaknesses,” Perrine said. “We played our first game stronger than we ever have the past two years I have been here, and even though we lost, we learned a lot and were proud of ourselves.”
“The entire backfield (Amie Pritchard ’15, Liz Wills ’15, Tayler Siegrist ’13 and Perrine) did a tremendous job defending the Huskies and only allowing three goals,” Siegrist said.
After falling behind 1-0 early on Sunday against Fairfield, Siegrist tied the score on a penalty shot right before halftime. After a scoreless second half, the game went into overtime, an area the Bison have thrived in. Since 2010, the Orange and the Blue had won seven of their last eight overtime games, and improved that stretch as Sydnor scored the winning goal to give the Bison a 2-1 victory.
“Going into overtime, which is [our] specialty, we knew we had to make something happen. Starting off with possession, we were able to get the ball into their circle within the first minute. Rachel Misko ’14 took a shot off the far post and I was able to tip it in,” Sydnor said.
“Our defense again was the story, as we absorbed a ton of attack and were able to frustrate them throughout the game. [Fairfield had a] much slower playing surface, which gave them a big home-field advantage. I am very proud of the team for overcoming the playing surface and very different style of play for the win,” Cook said.
The Bison will return for their home opener on Sept. 2, when they will host Lock Haven at 12 p.m.