By Jamie Belfer || Sports Editor
After a fantastic regular season of 15-2, the F&M field hockey team earned an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament. On a cold Wednesday afternoon, the Diplomats battled against the Hartwick College Hawks in the first round of the tournament.
The Diplomat offense came out firing as they got off four shots, and forced one penalty corner, in the first five minutes of the first quarter. These first five minutes foreshadowed what was to come, a dominant Diplomat performance throughout the entire game. In the remainder of the quarter, the Diplomats took four more shots and forced two more penalty quarters, but were ultimately unable to score.
The Diplomats once again took offensive control in the second period. Coverdale made the Hartwick goalie work as she fired four shots on goal in the first five minutes of the period. A flurry of additional shots came from Ellie Piage, Darby Klopp, Melissa Gula, and Lily Mynott, yet the Hawks fought to prevent the Diplomats from scoring. The Diplomats finally scored their first goal twelve minutes into the period. Caitlin Morissey assisted Mynott for the first goal of the game and her 22nd goal of the season. The Diplomats used this momentum to score another goal as Coverdale’s shot swooped into the left side of the net, putting the Diplomats up by 2 goals to none. Coverdale was assisted by Mynott. With that goal, Coverdale tied the all-time record of career goals (Laura Kramedas 1976-1978) in the F&M program with a total number of 53 goals. By the end of the first half, the Diplomats had out shot the Hawks 23-0.
To start off the third quarter, Mynott scooted in her second goal of the game, assisted by Gula. Hartwick finally got off their first shot five minutes into the third quarter. However, F&M goalkeeper, Christina Serry, made a nice save to keep the Hawks scoreless. The Diplomats countered with seven more shot attempts; however, they failed to score any additional goals in the third period.
After the Hawks forced a penalty corner eight minutes into the fourth period, they were able to score for the first time of the game, creeping closer to make the score 3-1. The Diplomats held steady and quickly retaliated less than two minutes later, as Coverdale knocked in a goal, assisted by Klopp. This goal, being her ninth of the season, and her 54th career goal, allowed Coverdale to surpass the all-time career goals leader, Laura Kramedas, and earn her well-deserved spot at the top of the list. F&M ended the game with a 4-1 victory, outshooting the Hawks 43-4. The Diplomats will face off against The College of New Jersey in the NCAA Sweet 16 on Saturday, September 16 at TCNJ. This match-up should be one to watch as both teams are highly competitive in the NCAA tournament year after year.
Sophomore Jamie Belfer is the Sports Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.