Updated Sat, Sep 7, 2013 11:28 pm
After allowing ten goals in its first two games of the season, Ohio Field Hockey (1-2) buckled down on defense against William & Mary (2-2), and got a late goal to clinch its first win of the year, 2-1.
Redshirt junior Lauryl Desch scored in the 58th minute when she buried a rebound that bounced off of William & Mary starting goalie Cate Johnson, giving her team a late lead.
Desch’s goal turned out to be the game-winner, holding up in the final 12 minutes despite a variety of chances for the Tribe, who came up empty on two penalty corners, two shots, and one shot on goal.
“We really did an excellent job of holding them all day long,” head coach Neil Macmillan said. “They had some of their opportunities at the end because we were penalized for having too many players in the game. But they got back and we finished strong.”
The game’s final tally broke a 37-minute stalemate between the two defensive-minded teams.
“It was a great game and it could’ve gone either way,” Macmillan said. “[William & Mary] dictated the pace for awhile, but at the end of the game it just felt like we had the energy we needed to win.”
The Bobcats allowed 19 shots in each of their two losses last weekend, but were able to respond with a big bounce-back effort, limiting William & Mary to just eight shots.
“We were really trying to limit second and third efforts,” Macmillan said, “and Brittany [Walker] did well making saves in areas where the defense could clear the ball away.”
Ohio goalkeeper Brittany Walker (1-2) also responded from two losing efforts last weekend, backing her defensive line with solid play in between the pipes, allowing just one of the Tribe’s four shots on goal through, posting a .750 save percentage.
The Bobcats’ offense did have trouble with a stingy William & Mary defense, as they were only able to muster up seven shots of their own.
But Ohio capitalized on its few opportunities, putting four shots on goal and two in the net.
“It was key to the win,” Macmillian said. “We were very unselfish in our execution and that helped too.”
Luli Gomez Truel opened the scoring for the Bobcats in the 11th minute when she pounded a very unselfish pass from Katie Fenzel into the back of the net. Truel’s tally was the senior’s third in two games.
Olivia Hajek scored the Tribe’s lone goal of the contest at 21’ during a scramble in front of Ohio’s cage.
Hajek’s goal dashed any hopes the Bobcats had for recording a shutout. But despite the early score, Ohio’s defense regrouped and anchored a big win.
“I was really proud today,” Macmillan said. “We fought from the start and it was nice to see us be able to execute.”
The Bobcats will look to pick up right where they left off and even their record when they battle the Louisville Cardinals at Trager Stadium in Louisville, Ky., on Sunday Sept. 8 at 1:00 p.m.