On a warm, sunny Friday afternoon, the University of Maine Black Bears Field Hockey team faced off against their rivals, the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Lowell River Hawks. While both teams entered the game evenly matched, UMass dominated both sides of the ball and won convincingly 4-0. This is the first time the River Hawks have ever defeated the Black Bears in field hockey.
UMaine entered the contest 4-4 and a 2-0 conference record after beating UC Davis 2-0 and Stanford 5-4 last weekend. UMass entered the game at 5-2 and on a two-game win streak, defeating Northeastern 3-0 and UMass Amherst 2-1.
It took UMass under two minutes to score first as on their first penalty corner opportunity, would score on a direct corner goal as first-year forward Karli Penrod found fourth-year midfielder Mirthe Gans, who tapped the ball to fifth-year midfielder Berbel Rozma for the score. Later in the first, it looked like Black Bears second-year midfielder Olivia Geniti found fourth-year back Poppy Lambert for an easy goal. However, it was called back due to a penalty and the score would remain 1-0 going into the second.
In the second, it was a defensive battle back and forth between the two teams until, with under 30 seconds remaining in the half, second-year forward Madison Leeper found third-year forward Ava Clarke, extending the lead to two entering the break. During the break, both coaches decided to switch goalies as first-year goalie Jade Temby would come in for fifth-year Mallory Drayer, and first-year Marie Oliemans would sub in for fourth-year Christina Calandra.
UMass would continue to play strong on both sides of the ball coming out of the break, as Leeper would tap the ball near the net and was assisted by third-year Meike Vischer to make it a 3-0 lead.
The Black Bears had a golden opportunity to score their first goal of the game and swing momentum as they had three straight opportunities on penalty corners, but all three failed thanks to tight defense by the River Hawks. After the third miss, it looked like Lambert scored, but upon review, it was revealed that Oliemans had saved the shot.
Following the missed scoring opportunity, UMaine would surrender their fourth goal of the day as Penrod would score a goal of her own, with her slapshot getting past Temby unassisted, making the score 4-0. This would remain the final score as both defenses gave up few opportunities in the fourth.
Shot-wise, both teams were nearly equal, as UMass had 11 to the Black Bears’ 10. UMaine would have seven penalty corner attempts, but thanks to stingy defense, none came close to scoring. Oliemans would finish the game with five saves, while Calandra would have three. Temby would finish the game with no saves, as the only two shots on goal were both goals. After the fourth goal, Drayer would sub back in and saved three goals on the day.
UMaine will head to New York to face the University of Albany Great Danes next Friday and will stay in New York on Sunday to face the Hofstra University Pride. The Black Bears will return home on Oct. 6 to face the Bryant University Bulldogs for their Breast Cancer Awareness game.