By Derek Stiles
The Shorewomen know all too well that strong starts can be meaningless when teams can’t win the big conference games. After a 2-1 start to the Centennial Conference last season, the field hockey team would go on to lose five consecutive conference games before bouncing back to win their final two. The damage was already done, however, as a 4-6 league mark left them two games out of a conference playoff spot. It would be the first time they missed the playoffs since 2009.
WC refuses to let a repeat occur.
“Last year’s disappointment after not making the playoffs was tough,” sophomore Jenn Miller said. “With the way the team has worked this season and become such a strong unit on and off the field, making the playoffs this year is something we both deserve and crave to accomplish.”
With a 3-2 conference record and a 10-2 record overall, the Shorewomen are sitting in the driver’s seat at the fifth spot in the conference after a 7-0 trouncing of Swarthmore, the most goals they’ve ever scored on the Garnets in their 29 meetings.
“The win against Swarthmore was an effort from literally the entire team,” Miller said. “Everyone who got a chance to contribute played quality offense and defense the whole time, which is apparent with not only the seven goals scored but the zero goals allowed as well.”
Freshman midfielder Michaela Connors would tally a hat trick in just over a three-minute span to pull away from Swarthmore, who was unable to provide any offensive spark as they recorded zero shots on frame against a stingy WC defense.
Sophomore Elizabeth Davis recorded the brace for the Shorewomen as her goal count for the season increased to 11. Davis currently stands at third in the conference for most points and in the top five for scoring.
Overtime proved to be unkind to the Shorewomen again this season as were defeated for the second time in conference play against a 5-1 Muhlenberg side. Despite Washington College holding a 12-11 shooting advantage, WC was unable to connect with the goal after senior attacker Jackie O’Connell evened the scoring midway through the first half.
With a tough schedule in the near future, the Shorewomen are looking to step up their game for nationally ranked opponents such as Franklin and Marshall and Ursinus.
“As a group we really need to work hard to perfect our communication on the field so that transitions up the field become goal-scoring opportunities,” Miller said. “Then those opportunities become goals on a more consistent basis against tougher conference teams.”
The Shorewomen’s annual “Pink Game” is set for Saturday, 1 p.m. at home against Centennial Conference opponent Dickinson Red Devils. They will be teaming up with Zeta Tau Alpha, who will be selling concessions and raffle tickets to help raise breast cancer awareness. T-shirts will be sold for $12 to raise funds for the cause.