FH: Wilkes goes 2-0 on week against MAC Freedom opponents

The field hockey team went 2-0 this week in the MAC Freedom after beating King’s College on Oct. 20 and DeSales University on Oct. 23.

“I knew this was going to be a big one (game) and I expected to see King’s have one of their best games,” said head coach Charlotte MacDonald. “Any conference win always feels good but beating a close rival just added to it. The game was a really strong team effort and a lot of runs and work from all lines.”

The Wilkes and King’s battle of the Barre started off with multiple fouls for both teams, leading to scoring positions on both sides of the field. The Monarchs took eight shots on goal but the Colonel’s defense and sophomore goalie Carly Eidle blocked all of the attempts.

The Blue and Gold attacked King’s defense with three strategic shot attempts, senior forward Morghan Murphy drilled one in right past sophomore Monarch goalie Ellie Glatz. This was Murphy’s ninth goal of the season with an assist by first year midfielder Bridget Rosenfeld.

“I knew early on we had to come out strong and put one on the board,” said Murphy. “I was able to do so by having a strong shot from the top of the circle in our first penalty corner.”

The second and third quarters were scoreless for both Wilkes and King’s. The Colonels had three shot attempts to King’s 11, but both defenses fought back to keep the ball out of the goal.

Penalties were called consistently on both sides of the field as both teams were aggressive on the ball in an attempt to claim the “Barre” title. The fourth quarter’s intensity brought Wilkes to the winners circle as they held the Monarchs to a scoreless match.

The final score read 1-0 and the Colonels took the title of “Wilkes Barre.” The hometown rivalry is always strong between Wilkes and King’s, but this win was especially important for Murphy as her family consists of all King’s alumni.

“As the ‘rebel’ of my family, nothing feels better than beating King’s as the little family- fun rivalry,” said Murphy. “Every year, King’s brings their A game against us and tonight we were able to fight back with a win.”

On Saturday, Wilkes hosted the DeSales Bulldogs in a MAC Freedom conference game. The Blue and Gold honored their five seniors, Laura Bayzick, Ali Dunn, Laurel Hopfer, Morghan Murphy, and Lauren Shiplett, prior to the contest.

Eight minutes into the first, Wilkes’ sophomore midfielder Emily Latoski collected a rebound on a Colonels shot attempt and made it into the goal, making the score 1-0. With 30 seconds left in the first, DeSales’ Taylor DeMasi followed Latoski’s goal with a shot of her own, scoring on Wilkes’ goalkeeper Eidle.

“It felt like we were finally finding a rhythm and playing our game,” said Latoski. “Everyone contributed to my goal: the passing, the defense, the mids, and then the forwards made it possible. The communication from Morghan and Ali helped tremendously. It was definitely a team goal.”

The second quarter was big for Wilkes as they scored two goals and held the Bulldogs to none. First-year midfielder Kellie Scott assisted Rosenfeld for a goal at the 19 minute mark.

“We were very excited after beating King’s,” said Rosenfeld. “It was a huge conference win for us and we wanted to use that momentum to go into another huge conference game against DeSales. Our team really clicked today, everyone truly worked together and played with heart.”

Moments after Rosenfeld’s goal, senior forward Ali Dunn assisted first-year defender Olivia Gayoski on a crowded on-goal shot, making the score 3-1 for the Colonels.

In the third quarter, the Blue and Gold held the Bulldogs to their one point from the first quarter. The defense put up a solid fight as DeSales put up eight shots right at the start, all of which were unsuccessful.

Wilkes made the gap in score larger as Scott drove one in for the Colonels, leading the score to read 4-1.

“I really try to emphasize a passing game and today was our best execution of that,” said MacDonald. “We created many goal scoring opportunities and that was evident with goals coming from all different scorers. It was so rewarding to see the hard work and investment from everyone come together with a strong result like that.”

Eight minutes remained in the fourth quarter and DeSales’ DeMasi scored off of a pass from the 20 yard line for the Bulldogs.

Wilkes kept the ball out of the net on offense and defense to end the fourth. The final score read 4-2 as Wilkes came out on top.

Eidle ended the game with nine saves for the Blue and Gold on DeSales’ 21 shot attempts.

“It felt amazing to beat DeSales,” said Rosenfeld. “We have not been able to (beat them) in years and having a 4-2 win against them on senior night really made it special. It was an amazing team win and we especially played hard for the seniors who deserved this win.”

The field hockey team has one final in-season game left, which will be played at home against Misericordia University on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.

The Beacon/Baylee Guede -The team posed for a picture prior to their contest against King’s, bringing attention Breast Cancer Awareness Match by wearing pink ribbon shirts.