The field hockey team turned in a methodical 3-1 victory against visiting SUNY-Oswego (2–6) to pick up its second victory of the season and first win at home.
A superb effort from the Bombers’ (2–3) back end led them to victory. Junior goalkeeper Kelly Singleton stopped 12 shots in net to mark her fifth consecutive game with a double-digit save total. Singleton made several fearless plays in the final fifteen minutes to preserve the win for the Blue and Gold.
Junior forward Julia Conroy opened the scoring with a one-timer off a pass from freshman forward Natalie Lynch from point-blank range in the sixth minute that gave the Bombers a 1-0 lead.
SUNY-Oswego countered right off the ensuing face-off however, taking the ball deep into Ithaca territory and putting the South Hill squad on their heels. Senior forward Kelly Collins punctuated the possession for the Lakers with a shot from the left post that bounded past Singleton and across the length of the goal line before finally sneaking in the opposite side.
Play was even between the two teams until sophomore midfielder Katie Kennedy cashed in a rebound from a shot by Lynch to put the Bombers ahead 2-1 with 6:05 remaining in the first half.
Conroy said that type of opportunistic scoring is what the Bombers had been working to improve upon in practice.
“We’re always looking for quick shots in front of the goal and getting that rebound and getting a stick on the ball,” Conroy said. “We worked it around the goalie today, and that’s something we’ve been working on a lot.”
After the halftime break, the Bombers settled into a lockdown, conservative style of play and clamped down on defense. SUNY-Oswego had plenty of opportunities to tie the game —including 12 penalty corners — but Conroy said Singleton and the defense just wouldn’t allow it.
“Kelly was on fire today and she was stopping all the shots,” Conroy said. “They had a lot of rebounds too. but she was keeping her feet together and getting really good clears. The defense was keeping their stick down and clearing the ball out of the circle on their stick as opposed to just driving it out of there.”
Singleton attributed her inspired play to an early-season 5-1 shellacking at the hands of Wellesley College on Sept. 10. That loss, Singleton said, was a wake-up call for herself and her teammates, and they have been playing with renewed passion ever since.
While the South Hill squad’s defense kept the Lakers from scoring, sophomore forward Lindsay Flanagan added an insurance goal off a bouncing shot to give the South Hill Squad a commanding 3-1 lead with 26:12 remaining in the game.
Kennedy assisted on the goal to tally her second point of the game and her team-leading fifth point total for the season. The midfielder said her squad has come a long way since its 3-1 loss in the season opener on Sept. 1 at SUNY-Cortland.
“We still have a lot of improving left to go, but that’s true with any team,” Kennedy said. “When you look back at our first game, we are doing great compared to back then.”
If the Blue and Gold can carry over their recent improvements to Saturday’s home matchup with Empire 8 conference rival Hartwick College, Kennedy is confident that the Bombers can improve their conference record to 2–0.
“If we can bring today’s effort to Saturday’s game, then we will beat Hartwick easily,” she said.