FIELD HOCKEY: Eagles Sneak Past Wake On Senior Night
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Friday night was the last home game for the No. 16 Boston College field hockey team. The Eagles welcomed the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, a team that just recently slipped from the rankings, as their opponent in a game with many purposes: to honor the seniors on the team, to cap off a solid regular season record (10-8, 2-3 ACC), and to determine their ranking going into the ACC tournament this week. The Eagles were successful in all three areas, coming out of the game with an exciting 2-1 win.
Before the start of play, both teams took a moment to line up on the field and honor their seniors. Two Eagles, Kara Mackintire and Jacqui Moorfield, played their final home game on Friday night. The teams and the spectators were treated to overviews of their BC careers that were highlighted by leadership, sportsmanship, and hard work.
Both seniors were given the chance to start, even though Kara Mackintire is suffering from a foot injury and immediately left the game. Head coach Ainslee Lamb spoke highly of both seniors.
“They’re all such unselfish players. Senior night is a time to honor their four-year commitment, but they know that we have to step of the field and win the game,” she said.
The first half of play was characterized by a strong offensive presence by Wake Forest in the Eagles’ zone. Although the BC defenders held the Deacons scoreless and were able to clear the ball, Wake Forest’s strong midfield, which BC had been aware of in practices leading up to the game, kept working the edges of the field, advancing the ball up the sidelines and adding pressure to the Eagles’ defensive and goalkeeping efforts.
The first half ended scoreless for both teams, however. Although Wake Forest outshot BC 6-3, freshman Leah Settipane remained steady in goal. Yet the half was not without chances for BC. Two close opportunities from breakaways fell just short as Ashleigh Sebia beat the Wake Forest goalie but shot just wide, and Chapin Duke also broke away towards the end of the half but was beaten by a sliding save from the Wake Forest goalkeeper.
During halftime, Lamb had very specific instructions for her team.
“When we made plays on the ball, they were very flat, so one of our focuses was on 3D skills, lifting the ball up a little more,” she said. “Also, we had to adjust and make sure that one of our backs, who they had been pressuring, always had an option.”
Lamb’s concise, focused input to her team paid off. Although the second half began like the first, with Wake Forest dominating possession and pressuring the BC defense, Wake Forest took the first lead of the game in the 46th minute. The Eagles, however, fought their way into the game as the half went on. With eight minutes remaining and still no score for BC, Lamb called a timeout.
“We pulled the goalie, went numbers up, and at that point it’s absolute high risk, all out hockey,” she said. “I’m not concerned about losing 1-0 or 2-0. I just want to put the ball in the net.”
That is exactly what the Eagles did, and in the last minute, two goals were scored. One resulted from a stroke (penalty shot) scored by Paige Morris, and the other came from Emma Plasteras, giving the Eagles the win, but not before a last-second corner from Wake Forest as time ticked to zero. The teams had to play until the ball left the BC circle, but the defense shut down Wake Forest one last time.
It was an essential win for the Eagles, and a confidence booster as they begin the ACC tournament this week and face Wake Forest for a second time in less than a week.
“Tonight we handled Wake with chaos, next week we want to handle them with structure,” Lamb said, “but we’re looking forward to seeing them again.”