A historic season for the Wilson College field hockey team came to a close Wednesday in the first round of the NCAA DIII Field Hockey Championship hosted by SUNY New Paltz. The Phoenix (18-1) fell to the #17 ranked Hawks (17-2) by a final score of 3-0.
How It Happened
The Phoenix came out strong and dominated most of the opening period. Super senior and Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) Player of the Year Michaela Singer (Annville, PA., Annville-Cleona) fired the first shot of the match, but a nice defensive save by a Hawks defender kept the Phoenix off the board. Just over a minute later, sophomore Hayley Koller (Atglen, PA, Octorara) took aim at the goal, but another defensive save denied the Phoenix the lead.
Midway through the period, the Phoenix pressure led to another opportunity to score as Singer drew the Hawks keeper out of the cage, but the angle of the shot was too tough as it sailed wide to the left. With less than two minutes to go in the period, the Hawks took advantage of a penalty corner; and after a great defensive save by junior Alexis Alleman (Shippensburg, PA., Shippensburg), the Hawks corralled the rebound and slid it into the cage for a 1-0 lead.
The Phoenix found themselves trailing for the first time all season.
During the second period, the Hawks maintained possession and applied a ton of pressure on the Phoenix defense. Three shots toward the cage for the Hawks in the period, but all three were denied by senior Breeann Sheaffer (Middleburg, PA., Midd-West) who came up with the great defensive saves. As time was about to expire in the half, Brea Kelso (Shippensburg, PA, Shippensburg) put a shot on cage but the Hawks keeper came up with the save to preserve the 1-0 lead at the half.
After a shot by CSAC tournament Most Valuable Player junior Alexis Pflumm (Camden, Del., Caesar Rodney) sailed wide to start the second half, the Hawks quickly transitioned to the other end and found the back of the cage for a 2-0 advantage. Nine more shots would follow by the Hawks, but the Phoenix defense remained stout and didn’t allow another goal.
An early fourth-period goal by the Hawks put the game out of reach but the Phoenix continued to battle. Super senior goalkeeper Krista Nayadley (Hampton, VA, Hampton) faced six more shots on goal and tallied a save on each of them to close out the match.
Inside the Box Score
The Hawks outshot the Phoenix 30-6 overall including a 17-4 edge in shots on goal. An 18-1 edge in penalty corners also favored the Hawks. Sheaffer recorded a career-high 4 defensive saves. Singer and Pflumm led the Phoenix with 2 shots each.
This concludes the historic 2021 season for the Phoenix.