Field hockey falls to Jackets, set to rebound against Herons

Junior Gracie Tavakkol chases after a runaway ball in a match at Weinberg Field earlier this season. Tavakkol and the Brewers lost their matchup to Rochester this weekend, 2-0. / Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton

The women’s field hockey team put up a valiant effort against their Liberty League foe, the University of Rochester, but fell short in a 2-0 loss this past Saturday, Sept. 30. Roch- ester (7-2) moves to 2-0, while this loss puts Vassar (6-4) at 1-1 in the Liberty League.

The University of Rochester’s Claire Dickerson scored on a cross from teammate Jennifer Lee within the first five minutes of the game. Dickerson almost had a second goal in the 14th minute, but first-year Nikki Pallotta made a defensive save after the ball passed sophomore goalkeeper Liz Rotolo.

The Brewers struck back with 15 minutes remaining in the first half but were unable to find the back of the net. Junior midfielder Alyssa More released a hard shot off a pass from fellow junior Megan Caveny, but the shot flew wide.

At the half, the Brewers were trailing in both shots and corners. The University of Rochester took five shots and had three corners in the first half. The Brewers took just one shot, which came from More, and had no corners.

The University of Rochester started off the second half with their second and final goal of the game off an insert pass. Rochester’s Maya Haigis connected off an insert pass on a low hard shot that found the right side of the goal. The Brewers were unable to connect on any of their five corners during the second half. They took two back-to-back corners following the second goal from Rochester but were unable to get a shot off Rochester’s Jennifer Lee took eight shots during the game, with one coming in the 55th minute that Rotolo kicked away to prevent Rochester from increasing their lead to three goals.

The Brewers were unable to connect on any of their five corners during the second half. They took two back-to-back corners following the second goal from Rochester but were unable to get a shot off.Rochester’s Jennifer Lee took eight shots during the game, with one coming in the 55th minute that Rotolo kicked away to prevent Rochester from increasing their lead to three goals.

Rochester’s Jennifer Lee took eight shots during the game, with one coming in the 55th minute that Rotolo kicked away to prevent Rochester from increasing their lead to three goals.

The Brewers’ best opportunity to get back into the game came when junior Mikayla Young received a pass off a penalty corner attempt from the top of the circle, but the shot went wide. Senior Storm Sideleau took the last two shots of the game in the final minute but couldn’t sneak them past the goalkeeper.

Senior Storm Sideleau took the last two shots of the game in the final minute but couldn’t sneak them past the goalkeeper.

Although the Brewers did not come out with a win, Sideleau did not think that the outcome of the game on Saturday was illustrative of how the team performed.

“Everyone played with great energy and gave 100 percent,” Sideleau commented. “Even though we didn’t win, the game against Roch- ester gave us an opportunity to see how we can improve and make our team a better unit. We had great energy, individual skill and hustle,” she explained.

Even though the team played with tenacity, Sideleau believes there are still things the Brewers need to focus on as they continue their season. “[We] can improve our spacing between the lines, stick to stick passing and press recov- ery,” said Sideleau.

Sideleau explained that after every game, the team reconvenes to highlight areas of success and areas that need improvement. “After our game in Rochester, we decided that one of the key focuses for our upcoming practices will be increasing the cohesiveness between our lines on the field. We’ll be keeping that in mind when deciding what skills to focus on during practice.”

Junior Monica Feeley, a returning first-team All-Liberty League selection, has been a solid midfielder for the Brewers this season. Consistent with the feelings of Sideleau, Feeley thought that the team played with a lot of grit this past weekend. “Every single person would come off the field exhausted from all the hard work they put in during their shift, which was awesome to see,” she commented.

Sophomore Cristina Lopez remarked on some of the things the team has been focusing on and how these have translated into their games. “Some things that we’ve really been working on have been staying disciplined and working on our communication,” Lopez explained. She mentioned that the team has played a lot of close games that have come down to a few minor errors. “Staying disciplined throughout the entire 70 minutes of play is something we are really striving for so we can eliminate our small mistakes,” said Lopez.

Additionally, Lopez observed how much better the team plays when there are open lines of communication on the field. “We all know that we play well when we are having fun and talking to each other the whole game,” she explained. “Direct communication has been key to working as a unit in games rather than as individuals.”

The Brewers are determined to walk away from this loss with their heads held high and are ready to put in a great week of practice to prepare for their upcoming game. “We have a solid week of practice before William Smith, so we are looking for everyone to come to every practice focused and ready to give 100%,” Feeley noted. “We always have a competition practice on Friday, so we are hoping this energy will transfer over into the game on Saturday!”

The Brewers will face off against the Herons of William Smith College in their next Liberty League game, Saturday, Oct. 7, on Weinberg Field.

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