Williams Falls to Tufts Field Hockey Despite Late Offensive Push

Emily Pavlini '14
Emily Pavlini '14
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – In a NESCAC matchup, Williams (4-8, 2-6 NESCAC) took on Tufts University (11-1) and lost despite a late push by the Williams offense and a buzzer-beater goal by senior captain Emily Jablonski.

For the first ten minutes of play, Tufts was able to possess the ball in Williams' defensive end with Williams taking a few turns on attack as well.  The two teams remained deadlocked for this ten minute period although Tufts was able to draw some dangerous penalty corners.  Their offensive pressure paid off, however, at the 12:13 mark when one of those penalty corners culminated in a goal.  A shot from outside of the arc connected with the back of the net before touching anyone else in the circle, so when it rebounded back into the arc, Tufts was able to pounce on the opportunity to score.  Alexandra Jamison of Tufts pushed the ball past Eph goaltender, Ariana Spiliotes to give Tufts the lead. 

Williams fought back, moving the ball quickly up the field to take their turn on offense.  The ball would shift throughout the midfield for the next few minutes of play, but Williams would take control to make a drive to goal.  At the 14:52 mark, Caitlin Conlon utilized a pass from teammate Jablonski to sneak the ball by Tufts goalie, Bri Keenan.  "I was very proud of how we responded to Tufts' goal.  We were suddenly down 1-0, but we answered with a goal," said coach Alix Barrale.  "We're getting closer and closer to putting together a full 70 minutes, and responding to an early deficit the way we did was huge."  With the score tied at one, Tufts looked to regain the lead.  They wouldn't find success again until the 24:14 mark when Emily Cannon scored off of an assist by Dakota Sikes-Keito in the center of the arc.  With the score at 2-1, the second half closed out before Tufts could capitalize on a last minute push to goal.

The second half started off in Tufts' favor, as Spiliotes made a great kick save to keep the score at 2-1 at the 38:00 mark.  The second half would exhibit a lot of back-and-forth play, with both teams taking seven shots on cage.  Neither team would capitalize on these chances, however, until Tufts scored at the 51:29 mark to extend their lead to two goals.  Sikes-Keito would score her own goal here, scoring off of a textbook penalty corner. 

Williams would have their fair share of opportunities in the second half, making strong runs on net with quick passes.  They would remain scoreless for most of the second half despite their offensive pressure, missing a few long balls.  They kept up this pressure, however, and drew a corner with less than a minute left.  Calling a timeout, Williams tried to turn the momentum in their favor.  Although this penalty corner would prove unsuccessful, they would draw another.  This time, the corner ended in an exciting, buzzer-beater goal by Jablonski to end the game at 3-2 in Tufts' favor.  Spiliotes would finish with three saves on the day while Keenan would finish with one.

The Ephs next take on Bates at home next Saturday.