The field hockey team broke through for its first win in October and snapped a six-game losing streak today with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over visiting St. John Fisher College at Higgins Stadium.
Senior captain Heather Kozimor scored both goals in the first half for the Bombers. The forward’s first goal came in the 12th minute and was the Bombers’ first goal in more than two games. The Blue and Gold were shut out by Washington and Jefferson College and the University of Rochester in their last two matchups.
Kozimor added her second goal at 31:44 with a shot from the top of the arc that deflected inside the left post to give the Bombers a 2-0 lead. It was the first goal for the South Hill squad off a penalty corner in more than a month.
Senior forward Julia Conroy said though the Blue and Gold defeated a first-year varsity field hockey team in St. John Fisher College, they had an improved sense of vision throughout the game.
“We were just working together a lot and we were able to see each other a lot better today, maybe that had to do with our pink shirts,” Conroy said in reference to the Bombers’ pink uniforms they wore in the game to raise breast cancer awareness. “But we’re just looking up a lot better and communicating, and that helped us get the ball up and into the goal.”
Despite the early lead the team could not sit back. The Cardinals came out of the halftime break with a flurry of offensive activity in front of the the Bombers’ net. That frenzy eventually led to a goal when St. John Fisher College forward Taylor Parker tapped in a rebound past sprawling Ithaca junior goalkeeper Kelly Singleton to cut the Bombers’ lead to 2-1.
St. John Fisher looked as if it would score again when it drew four consecutive penalty corners immediately following its first goal. Singleton came up clutch for the Blue and Gold however, making five saves in just over four minutes to preserve the lead for the South Hill squad. Singleton recorded 10 saves Saturday and has collected double-digit save totals in all but one game for the Bombers this season.
Senior midfielder JulieAnne Butare said Singleton kept the Bombers engaged in the game and inspired them to close out the win.
The Bombers have suffered many close losses this season. Four of the team’s six losses in their recent losing streak were by a single goal. Conroy said the team made sure there would be no heartbreak in Saturday’s game.
“We just had to play tough because we knew they were going to come out strong for the second half,” Conroy said. “We had to play the whole 70 minutes, and that’s what really counts.”
Head Coach Tracy Houk said her team can play a little more relaxed now that it’s dreaded streak has come to an end.
“It feels great to get a win and get the monkey off our back,” Houk said. “I think you could see how we wanted it a lot more today. We were really moving to the ball and finished the play a little better.”
With the streak behind them, Butare and her teammates are focusing on building momentum down the stretch for the postseason.
“It feels really good to finally get a win,” Butare said. “At this point we still have four more games — including two big Empire 8 games — so we’re still in the running to be in the Empire 8 tournament and hopefully we’ll win the rest of those games and finish the season with seven wins.”
The Bombers’ next game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday at Morrisville State College.