Field Hockey falls after earning the first goal of the game

By Mack Fisher

Courtesy of Colby College

The Colby College field hockey team took on a strong opponent, Middlebury, during their game last Saturday.The Panthers came into the game undefeated in eight games and left triumphant (9–0, 5–0 NESCAC). The game started very strong for the Mules; just six minutes into the first half Merel van Gijzen ’21, a star forward for the Mules, scored an unassisted goal that had the crowd at Bill Alfond Field cheering. The Mules then held off a strong Panther attack for 35 hard fought minutes. Heading into the locker room at half-time, the Colby team was holding onto a 1–0 lead and full of confidence.

Unfortunately, the persistence of attacking play by the Panthers proved to be too strong for the Mules to stave off. Only 1:32 into the second half, Marissa Baker slotted a shot by Colby goalie Riley Whitmyer ’19 off an assist from Danielle Brown. Julia Richards gave the Panthers the lead with an unassisted goal, followed by a goal from Erin Nicholas with five minutes left. Danielle Brown helped to put the game out of reach in the last two minutes, scoring a goal for herself solidifying a 4–1 victory for the top-rated Panthers.

Whitmyer played a great game in between the posts, facing 15 shots and tallying 11 saves. Colby was able to put the pressure on Megan Collins, the Middlebury goalie, with four shots. The Mules were able to draw three penalty corners in the second half during their comeback effort, four in total. Middlebury’s offense was able to draw seven total penalty corners.

The game was well refereed and played cleanly by both sides–there was only one green card, awarded to the Mules early in the first half. A green card in field hockey is an official warning for a minor offense and a second would have resulted in a yellow card (five minutes of playing a man down).

After a hard fought battle, the Mules now turn to face the Husson Eagles (1–6), and then come back to in-conference play hosting Wesleyan Saturday Oct. 6.

The Mules opened their season at home against Husson and had an impressive 6–0 win. They hope to repeat this result when they travel to Bangor. Though the Mules have struggled in in-conference play after five games against NESCAC opponents, they earned a key win against Connecticut College, where they pulled off a nail biting 2–1 victory over the Camels. The team faces a very important last seven games as they fight for a playoff berth. The impressive performance against such a top tier team as Middlebury left the 120 fans on Saturday afternoon excited for the final stretch of games against in-conference opponents.