Field Hockey Falls Short in NCAC Debut Against Kenyon


Photo Courtesy of OC Athletics

Junior midfielder player Meg Parker carries the ball past the opposing offense in last year’s Oct. 22 matchup against the Ohio Wesleyan University Big Red. The field hockey team has its first home game today at 5 p.m. on Bailey Field.

Jackie McDermott, Sports Editor

After winning its first home opener in five years in an exhilarating victory over Lindenwood University last Saturday, field hockey has endured a two-game slump, including a shutout 7–0 loss to North Coast Athletic Conference rivals the Kenyon College Ladies. Fatigue plagued the small Yeowomen squad as the Ladies used their laden roster to their advantage.

“The biggest challenge we faced against Kenyon was their roster size,” sophomore forward and midfielder Libby Royer wrote in an email to the Review. “They had the ability to constantly sub and get fresh legs on the field. We, on the other hand … [don’t] really have the ability to sub very often.”

The offensive pressure came from numerous Kenyon players throughout the game, as six different Ladies scored goals throughout. An early first-half defensive save from senior Dillon Sebastian kept Kenyon off the board, but six minutes into play the Ladies were able to find the net. Kenyon scored again just two minutes later. However, Oberlin was able to quell the offensive pressure for the rest of the half.

“This game we saw how important it was to have confidence and keep our heads high no matter what the score,” Royer said. “We have an extremely dedicated group this year that is willing to fight until the last second during every game.”

Fighting spirit wasn’t enough to keep the Ladies at bay. Kenyon notched five more goals in the second half for a final score of 7–0.

Junior captain Kennedy Kline finished with nine saves after working the entire game in goal. Kline leads the team alongside fellow junior captain and attack Amelia Huang. Head coach Tiffany Saunders, now in her third year with the Yeowomen, spoke highly of the junior leaders.

“Amelia and Kennedy are both very positive players that not only understand our team dynamic, but also have a very strong game sense,” Saunders wrote in an email to the Review. “Having them step up as juniors to fill the role of captainship is very exciting.”

Kline stepped up right away as the team kicked off its season during its trip to Wisconsin last weekend. Kline’s strong performance in goal Saturday against Lindenwood helped lead the Yeowomen to a 5–2 win.

The squad showed that it has made strides since last year in offensive production, as the Yeowomen outshot the Lindenwood University at Belleville Lynx 17–7 with 14 of their shots landing on cage. In the lone goal of the first half, junior forward Jenna Gyimesi connected with sophomore midfielder Luisa McGarvey to put the Yeowomen up 1–0. The Oberlin offensive campaign heated up in the second half as Huang led the team with a goal and two assists. Huang assisted Gyimesi for her first goal of the year at minute 40. Later, Huang scored off of a feed from first-year forward Reet Goraya. Huang returned the favor 30 seconds later, assisting Goraya for her first collegiate goal. Up 4–0, Oberlin earned their final point when Royer scored off of a pass from senior Dillon Sebastian.

Each Oberlin goal was scored by a different player, and Saunders noted the team’s willingness to spread the ball around as a highlight of the game.

“Seeing the squad share the ball on field and having multiple people take part in winning a game is so important to building a strong team,” she said.

The following day, however, the Yeowomen couldn’t keep the momentum going. They faced stronger competition and more pressure than the day before, ultimately falling to the Concordia University Falcons 4–0. The Falcons got going early, scoring three goals and outshooting the Yeowomen 11–1 in the first half.

“In the first half, we could sense that we were falling apart a little bit,” Kline said. “But our attitude and the way that we treated each other didn’t falter and I think that’s why the second half of our game was a lot stronger.”

After halftime, Oberlin held Concordia to just one goal with the help of Kline, who logged a season-high 13 saves. Royer also contributed a notable performance, leading the team with three shots.

“I love to build memories and a family-like atmosphere, so exploring Milwaukee was a definite highlight over the weekend,” Saunders said. “Hearing the laughs and seeing the smiles while [the players] enjoy one another[’s] company is always a special moment.”

Junior midfielder Meg Parker added a similar sentiment.

“Our team is really unique in that our foundation is love,” Parker said. “That is the most important thing to our team — how much we love each other. Even if we don’t have the best record in the conference, I’d rather lose with this team than win with anyone else.”

The Yeowomen will make their home debut and kick off Oberlin’s Homecoming festivities today at Knowlton Athletics Complex at 5 p.m., taking on the Christopher Newport University Captains.