Minutewomen top Dartmouth in overtime thrillerIt took two overtimes, but the Massachusetts field hockey team won a Tuesday afternoon thriller, beating Dartmouth, 5-4, in Hanover, N.H. in its final non-conference game.
Katie Kelly scored two minutes and 57 seconds into double-overtime for the Minutewomen (7-6, 1-0 Atlantic 10), after sophomore Sarah Schlosstein’s shot was kicked away by the Big Green goalie. It was Kelly’s second goal of the game as well as her second game-winning overtime goal of the season.
The game-winning goal ended a high intensity, back-and-forth contest between the two teams. Prior to that, the Big Green (8-4, 2-1 Ivy League) erased a 3-1 deficit and seemed to match every UMass goal.
“Today was a great win,” UMass coach Justine Sowry said. “I think any time that you have such a difficult battle and a game that goes into overtime, a game that went back and forth, the energy and work ethic gets put out onto the field.”
With the score tied at three with under seven minutes remaining, Makaela Potts received the ball off of a penalty corner and hit a sharp grounder into the net to give UMass a 4-3 lead. The lead quickly vanished when Dartmouth came right back into UMass’ circle before Samantha McPherson evened the score again.
“It was a very attacking game of hockey,” Sowry said. “We put Potts in the midfield and asked her to play more attack. She’s got the athleticism, skill and speed to really put the opposition under a lot of pressure. The pace of the game was definitely fast. It was end to end. There wasn’t a lot of build up. It was definitely get from one end to the other as fast as possible.”
The result was the Minutewomen’s second overtime this season. Sowry and her players have consistently taken lessons from 2009 and learned when the same situation arose this year. Consequently, they switched their mindset at the start of Tuesday’s overtime.
“Last year in our overtime games we played very pensive, quite nice hockey but we weren’t getting the results that we needed, so our attitude this year is to go for it and attack,” Sowry said.
UMass improved to a 2-0 record in overtime games this year. Their first win came at Yale on Sept. 12, when it erased a two-goal deficit to win 3-2. Kelly’s breakaway goal in overtime completed the comeback and her two-goal effort pushed her season total to a team-leading 10 goals.
“[Kelly’s] effort on a day-to-day basis is nothing short of 100 percent so I expect that everyday at practice and throughout the course of the game,” Sowry said. “When it comes down to overtime, [Kelly’s] been a great leader. She’s an incredible competitor and she doesn’t like to lose. Whatever gas is left in the gas tank, she finds a way. Fortunately, she’s been on the receiving end of scoring some pretty crucial game winners.”
Molly MacDonnell scored the UMass goal in the 25th minute off of an assist from Kelly. It evened the score at one before the Minutewomen scored two straight. Kim Young scored her second goal of the year as UMass built a 3-1 advantage at halftime.
Sowry was most impressed with her team’s ability to score. The Minutewomen’s five-score effort was the most goals they’ve put up in a game this year. They now have nine scores in their last two games.
“The most important thing is to be able to score more goals,” Sowry said. “We haven’t done that all year, and as we move forward into a very important weekend, putting that many goals into the back of the net is really pleasing. Any hard-fought wins, in particular in overtime, it really does a lot for your confidence.”
Pete Vasquez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.