Freshman Sarah Hawkshaw steals show for UMass field hockey on Senior Day

By Matthew Zackman

(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)
(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

Following an agonizing 6-4 defeat against No. 7 Syracuse on Saturday, the Massachusetts field hockey team needed someone to spark it back to its winning ways.

Sarah Hawkshaw provided just that on Sunday.

On Senior Day, it was the freshman who scored twice to power the Minutewomen to a 5-1 win over Saint Louis.

UMass (10-9, 7-1 Atlantic 10) controlled ball possession in the Billikens’ half of the field for the majority of Sunday’s game. In the first half alone UMass tallied 11 shots on goal. But despite the high shot count, Saint Louis goalkeeper Tori Westhead held the Minutewomen scoreless through the first half.

Hawkshaw broke through three minutes into the second half as she spun around and slapped a bullet into the upper right-hand corner of the net.

“I was on the left side, I just thought reverse it and hope for the best,” Hawkshaw said.

Seven minutes later, Hawkshaw struck again, launching a shot into the bottom right corner of the net.

Despite the score, she said her intent was to pass the ball to a teammate.

“I was thinking about crossing it to get a back post opportunity, because it is easier to get a back post and get it in, but I was lucky enough to get it in,” Hawkshaw said.

Hawkshaw’s two goals came as part of a run of five-unanswered scores for UMass in the second half.

“For a while we were hitting on the goal and it was getting a bit sickening and once we got one in it gave us the confidence to get more in the goal,” Hawkshaw said.

According to UMass coach Carla Tagliente, she talked to Hawkshaw at halftime and told her to take some additional time when shooting in order to give her better shots.

“She is creating a lot of stuff leading up to the circle but not creating a lot of return inside the circle,” Tagliente said. “I talked to her about taking extra time on her shot because she often times has more time than she thinks. She ripped off two really great shots.”

Tagliente said that she sees Hawkshaw, who now has six goals and 15 points this season, as a vital part of the team’s offense.

“She’s a competitor. She is a quiet kid, but she has one of the highest work rates and competes all the time,” Tagliente said. “You see her stick work, she has a tremendous amount of skill on the ball and she can shoot the ball from pretty much anywhere, which makes her a constant threat in the circle.”

Tagliente added that the freshman’s stat line does not totally reveal her contributions to the Minutewomen this season.

“I don’t think her numbers reflect what she has done on the field, but she also has been playing a lot of minutes for us,” Tagliente said.

Matthew Zackman can be reached at [email protected]