The Wilkes University field hockey team closed out their regular season competition this past week with a difficult loss at home to the Misericordia Cougars, but they look ahead to the postseason with an immediate rematch and shot at redemption.
The Lady Colonels started off strong by scoring the first goal. With the assist from #18 Marissa Surdy, #14 Ali Dunn’s only shot on goal was a success at just one minute and 34 seconds into the contest. Early in the matchup, things looked up for the Lady Colonels as they took the lead 1-0.
The Cougars were unable to answer until finally tying the score with a goal 19 minutes later. 21 minutes into the game, Misericordia began to rally towards the win. The Cougars were able to take the lead 28 minutes in with another goal by #10, Kyleigh Knell. Misericordia was able to increase their lead at the start of the second half with yet another goal from #26, Tori Carsley. Even with Lady Colonel goalkeeper #99 Dallas Kendra’s five saves in goal, it was not enough to stop the relentless attack from Misericordia’s offense.
After Wilkes’ initial score at the start of the matchup, Misericordia’s defense was on lockdown. Their goalie, #88 Katelyn Campbell, made three saves throughout the game to prevent the victory for Wilkes.
As this was the Lady Colonels’ last regular season contest, they look forward to postseason play. With a regular season finish of 4-3 in Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Freedom play and 8-9 overall record, the Lady Colonels have clinched a spot in the MAC tournament and claimed the third seed.
Luckily, Wilkes can look for redemption immediately as they have a rematch with Misericordia, the number two seed, to kick off the MAC Freedom tournament. Having just played them a week prior to postseason gameplay, Wilkes should be able to build off of mistakes and will know just what to expect in their next matchup.
“We are excited to face Misericordia in the semifinals,” said Wilkes field hockey head coach, Sarah Myers. “We have made some adjustments as a team after our last matchup.”
Looking forward to this rematch in the postseason, it is clear to the Wilkes coaching staff what adjustments need to be made in order to maximize their chances of winning the next time around. The difference this past week was two scores against the Lady Colonels, and a whole lot of defense on the Cougars’ side.
Myers went on to say, “we are looking to play to our strengths and expose Misericordia’s weaknesses.”
The Lady Colonels found a hole in the Cougars defense with that early score a minute and 34 seconds in. If they can capitalize on more opportunities such as that, a much more positive outcome could result for the Wilkes University field hockey team.
A major goal for the team this year was to make a serious run in the postseason and in the MAC Freedom tournament. They have created a good opportunity here for themselves to come back and shock Misericordia and make a run to become the 2017 MAC Freedom champions.
After a win like Misericordia had against Wilkes this past week, they could be feeling like there is no way for Wilkes to come to their field and beat them, but that is the best time for a team to capitalize on another’s overconfidence.
“I am confident in the work ethic and fight in my team. We have faced a lot of adversity this season with unfortunate injuries,” said Coach Myers, “but the team never lost sight of our goal of making a run in the postseason. They never stopped fighting.”
What their next game, the Wilkes and Misericordia rematch, the first round of the MAC tournament is going to come down to is who works harder for the win and which team as a whole is more focused on their goals. According to Coach Sarah Myers, that team is Wilkes.
“They work hard for each other and at the end of the day a team that works hard for each other is hard to beat,” said Coach Myers.
With nothing to lose and everything to gain, the Wilkes field hockey team enters the postseason looking to take back their loss on Misericordia this past week. As the season transitions into tournament time, the Lady Colonels look to accomplish their goal of a championship run.
Misericordia 3, Wilkes 1
First half — 1. WIL, Ali Dunn (Marissa Surdy), 1:34. 2. MIS, Colby Eldrige, 20:14. 3. MIS, Kyleigh Knell (Madisyn Granoski), 27:58. Second half — 4. MIS, Tori Carsley (Colby Eldrige), 41:41.
Shots — MIS 15; WIL 12. Saves — MIS 3 (Katelyn Campbell); WIL 6 (Dallas Kendra). Penalty corners — MIS 6; WIL 10.