The field hockey team (2–4) saw its two-game winning streak snapped, as it lost to Empire 8 conference rival Hartwick College (2–5) by a score of 2-1 today at Higgins Stadium.
The game was a physical struggle between two conference foes that saw many players tumble to the ground. There were 17 total penalty corners.
Hartwick College junior forward Kelsey Kimble opened the scoring at 12:55 with a shot that deflected off junior goalie Kelly Singleton and into the cage to put the Hawks up 1-0.
The goal seemed to flip a switch for the Bombers, and they fired back with a goal of their own 21 seconds later when sophomore forward Laura Ramsey poked a shot through the legs of Hartwick junior goalie Megan Campbellto tie the game.
Kimble scored for the second time with an unassisted breakaway at 26:50 to give Hartwick College a 2-1 lead that it would carry into the halftime break.
The Bombers would have plenty of opportunities to even the score in the second half. Those chances included nine penalty corners, a stroke and a three-on-one breakaway in the 63rd minute.
Sophomore midfielder Laura Ramsey said the Bombers played solid on both sides of the ball but were just missing their scoring touch.
“It was a really big game but we went into it really positive,” Ramsey said. “We just need to work on finishing.”
Sophomore defender Emily Lash said the rough-and-tumble play may have thrown the Bombers off track a bit.
“I think we were a flustered when they scored first,” Lash said. “But we came right back like we usually do, we just need to work on the communication a little more. I think some of the fouling and the rough play might have gotten into some people’s heads and so we need to get around that and play our game.”
With both teams off to slow starts and desperately needing a conference win to keep the pace, Hawks Head Coach Anna Meyer said both teams played with an intensity appropriate for postseason play.
“Ithaca and Hartwick are really evenly matched teams, and even though it’s early in the conference schedule I think both teams were looking at this almost like a must-win to make your life a little bit easier later on in the conference schedule,” Meyer said. “I thought it was played like a conference championship game. Both teams really wanted it.”
Bombers Head Coach Tracey Houk was hesitant to put a label on a game so early in the season and said she viewed this hard-fought loss as a chance to learn and build on for the team’s next home game against SUNY-Oneonta.
“It’s too early to call it a must-win game since this was only our second Empire 8 game,” Houk said. “Our goal is still to be top in the conference and host a playoff game, but there are a lot more opportunities for us and the season is just beginning.”
The South Hill squad will host SUNY-Oneonta at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Higgins Stadium.