Field hockey scores eight goals, sets record against Medaille – Le Campus
The Allegheny field hockey team shut out the College Mavericks Medaille 8-0 in a non-conference game on Tuesday, October 5.
The Gators doubled their most goals scored in a game in their two-year program history with the victory. Allegheny’s previous record of four goals came against Sewanee College on September 4, 2021 and Ferrum College (VA) on September 29, 2019. With the win, the Gators have improved to 5-4 this season.
Allegheny took advantage of Medal in the first and third quarters of the match. The Gators scored five goals in the first fifteen minutes of the game and added three more in the third quarter.
Interim head coach Margaret Maclean explained what led to her team’s offensive attack.
“I think playing as a unit and really just using what we’ve been working on in practice over the past two weeks and come together and come full circle,” Maclean said. “Finishing in a cage helped a lot and that has been our problem the last few weeks. “
Midfielder Maya Francisco, ’24, and Attack / midfielder Debbie Nalesnik, ’24, led the charge for the Gators, who each scored two goals. Additionally, forward / midfielder Ramsay Smith, ’23, scored one goal through the net and recorded three assists. Other scorers included midfielder / defender Emma Anderson, ’23, Attack / midfielder Kelsey Anderson, ’23, and Attack / midfielder Ella O’Connor, ’23. The latter helped the Gators with two assists.
Nalesnik, who had seven shots on goal in the game, spoke about how his team’s positioning allowed him to find openings in the Mavericks’ net.
“I think what worked for me was definitely getting around the goalkeeper, my teammates passing me to the right place,” said Nailsnik. “The turn was pretty cool because I just pulled the opposite side post, which I worked on – it was kind of swag.”
In total, Allegheny compiled 40 shots, including 26 on target. Meanwhile, Medaille failed to assemble a single shot throughout the contest.
Hallie Reiger, 23, the first row goaltender for the Gators, played in the game against the Mavericks. However, Reiger praised goalkeepers Heather Amancio, ’23, and Meredythe Baird, ’24. Both keepers split the time on the pitch as Amancio held the fort in the first half of the game, while Baird came in for the remaining 30 minutes.
“(Amancio) and (Baird) are great,” Reiger said. “They’re both so good. It’s a constant battle and honestly I’m super proud of both of them.
The defense in front of the goalkeeper played a huge role against Medaille. One of the main reasons Medaille couldn’t prepare a shot is that the Mavericks barely stormed the Gators shooting circle. In the first quarter alone, Allegheny kept his opponent on the defensive as Medaille passed just a few yards from midfield before the Gators intercepted the ball.
Even when Medaille started to gain some momentum downstream, they were stopped by Allegheny. Unlike the Gators offense, which produced a swarm of attackers in an offensive attack, Medaille would only bring out one or two players to do the damage. Most often they were encountered by defenders Apurva Kannu, ’24, and Molly Miller, ’24 who managed to commit turnovers in favor of Allegheny. Also, if the Gators needed an opening and wanted to reset the offense, they would come back to Kannu and Miller.
Maclean explained how his team displayed good ball movement to keep Medal going.
“I just think using the passes,” Maclean said. “I like to say let the ball do the work. So passing them in the back, using the transfer balls really helped us in our defensive success.
Maclean explained how consistent backfielder like Kannu have been an integral part of the team’s performance this season.
“She’s just steady in the back and uses the passes with her fellow defenders, just lets the ball do the job, finds the gaps and gets the midfielder really helped,” Maclean said.
Kannu is a second-year student-athlete for the Gators, but is in her first college season. Kannu described what it means to her that the Allegheny field hockey team have been able to rack up a winning record so far this season.
“I think the year COVID-19 was kind of a blessing in disguise and it made us get better,” Kannu said. “(We) gained a lot of players and assets. We’ve been able to use this year to improve our skills throughout the year and it’s getting really great to compete now.
I think the year COVID-19 has been kind of a blessing in disguise and it has allowed us to improve. (We) have gained a lot of players and assets. We’ve been able to use this year to improve our skills throughout the year and it’s getting really great to compete now.
– Apurva Kannu, class of 2024
The Allegheny field hockey team relies heavily on their subclasses as they don’t have a fourth year to play for the team. Because of the program’s young history, the Gators have 10 third year, nine sophomore and two freshman. Reiger believes the underclassmen have helped the team improve considerably from 2019, where Allegheny went 2-16 in his inaugural season.
“The sophomores and the two freshmen are amazing,” Reiger said. “The second year class is so strong. We wouldn’t be where we are now without either class. They are very good.”
The Medal win was a good rebound for the Gators after a 2-0 loss to Kenyon on Saturday, October 2. Maclean is confident Tuesday’s performance will come in handy in the weekend’s games against Earlham and Depauw.
“We still have things to work on, but we have three days of training to prepare,” said Maclean. “I think if we come out strong like we did today, it will be a hell of a game.”
Allegheny will play both home competitions this weekend, starting with Earlham on Saturday, October 9 at 11 a.m. for the senior day, followed by Depauw at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 10 on the Blue Turf at Robertson Sports Complex.