Field Hockey Drops Regular Season Finale in Overtime

Boston College field hockey stormed down the field toward the net. Goalkeeper Audra Hampsch ran alongside the attack. Hampsch slipped out at midfield, leaving the net wide open and allowing Carly Kauffman to sub in. With one extra player on the field, the Eagles had two minutes to score. But they only needed 15 seconds. After a series of crisp passes and a powerful shot that sent that backboards ringing, the game was tied. The stands and sideline erupted—this battle was going to overtime.

No. 12 BC fought back to tie No. 3 UConn twice in regulation on Sunday. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the Huskies captured the 4-3 overtime victory in Newton.

Three minutes into the game, a UConn (18-1, 7-0 Big East) player took a shot three yards in front of the goal, with no defender in the vicinity. It was the perfect opportunity for the Huskies to strike early, but Hampsch made an incredible save, batting the ball away with her hand protector.

UConn continued to dominate on the offensive end and easily dropped defenders to get looks on net. The BC (10-8, 3-3 Atlantic Coast) defense did not give up during the Huskies’ bombardment of Hampsch.

With 16 minutes left in the half, the Huskies were awarded a penalty corner. The Eagles crouched behind the goal line, preparing to fly out as soon as the ball was crossed. Lucy Lytle sprung out of the net and instantly blocked Anna Middendorf’s shot at the top of the circle.

The physicality increased—green cards galore. But the penalties did not deter either side, as BC and UConn continued to move the ball offensively. Yet both goaltenders refused to budge.

Head coach Kelly Doton highlighted Hampsch’s defensive efforts—play that kept the Eagles in the game.

“She’s a special goalkeeper,” Doton said. “There is no other person we’d rather have in cage.”

With four minutes remaining in the half, UConn was issued a yellow card, giving BC a one-player advantage for five minutes. The Eagles hustled into the circle and earned their first penalty corner of the game. Brittany Sheenan inserted the ball, and the Eagles took three shots on goal, all of which failed to find the back of the net. UConn goalie Nina Klein sat on the ball during this chaos, which resulted in a penalty stroke for BC. Emily McCoy took the stroke and flicked the ball high-left, but Klein’s stick was there to make the stop. In just a span of 30 seconds, the Eagles missed two giant opportunities to take a goal lead over the talented UConn squad.

The Huskies outshot the Eagles 6-2 in the first half, but after 35 minutes of play, the score lingered, tied at zero.

Opening up the second half, the Huskies continued to get looks right in front of Hampsch. They were granted a penalty corner, and a goal appeared inevitable. Charlotte Veitner put the ball in play,and after two crisp passes, Barbara van den Hoogen snuck one inside the far post to give UConn the one-goal edge with 28 minutes left in the game.

After 13 minutes of pure UConn domination, the Eagles took a timeout. BC went on an offensive attack coming out of the break.

Once downfield, the Eagles broke into the circle. With passes criss-crossing in front of the net, BC caught Klein off guard, allowing Sheenan to sneak one into the net, making it a 1-1 game.

Less than three minutes later, Leah Frome sent the ball to Emily McCoy, who ripped a shot into the far corner, giving the Eagles a 2-1 lead. Needing to regroup, UConn called a timeout.

Following the break in play, the Huskies received a corner after a foot penalty inside the circle. UConn converted and tied the game at two. Twenty-one seconds later, the Huskies stormed towards goal, scored again.

Down 3-2, the Eagles decided to pull Hampsch with two minutes remaining. The decision paid off. Only seconds later, Frederique Haverhals sent the ball into the circle. Eryn McCoy slapped the ball towards the far post past Klein to make it a 3-3 game.

With 30 seconds left in the game, UConn was given a corner. It let the clock expire, in order to make it the final play of the game. The Huskies sent all of their players to the top of the circle, attempting to make a wall around the perimeter. But their barrier was not strong enough, as the Huskies allowed a diving Haverhals to slip the ball outside, extending the game to overtime.

When overtime started, the tone of the game completely flipped. The Eagles slowed down the tempo, with hopes of working their way into the circle. UConn waited for them to make a mistake, which would enable them to  break away across the field. While both methods were effective, no goals were produced.

With three and a half minutes remaining, BC drew a penalty corner. Emily McCoy wove through the defenders after receiving the insert and headed toward the goal. Her shot was saved, but Frome retrieved the rebound and was inches away from sneaking the ball past Klein.

Seconds later, the Huskies received a penalty corner and then a stroke. With a minute left in overtime, Casey Umstead took the stroke and scored, ending the game.

The Eagles bench instantly lost all its energy, and their heads hung heavy.

“It’s just unfortunate the outcome did not happen this way,” Doton said. “Hopefully, these guys have some faith they did everything they could to win that game.”

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor

October 30, 2016