It was big day for the field hockey team as it faced its fifth Empire 8 Conference opponent of the season. The Bombers defeated Elmira College 4–0 on Oct. 10 at Higgins Stadium to give the Blue and Gold their fourth conference win of the year. With the shutout victory, the Bombers are now 8–3 overall and 4–1 in conference play.
From the start, the teams came out evenly matched, and it was a long fight for the first goal of the game. The Elmira defense was not about to let anything past them easily. Although there were a number of attempts on goal, none were successful until over 14 minutes into the half when junior forward Colleen Keegan-Twombly found the back of the net to give the Bombers a 1–0 lead over the Soaring Eagles, setting the tone of the game.
The Bomber defense was focused beyond measure and caused not only many shifts of possession, but also executed a number of drives that allowed offensive players to get close on goal. Senior Laurel Shnider was responsible for shattering a number of Elmira’s offensive efforts. Almost every time the Soaring Eagles attempted to make it across the midfield line, Shnider was able to break it up.
She said the Bombers’ success on the field relies heavily on communication among teammates.
“I think in the back field, you can see a lot back there so you can really help people,” Shnider said. “They know where they’re going too, but it’s good to communicate all over the field, even if you don’t have the ball.”
Immediately following Keegan-Twombly’s goal, Elmira made its first cut into the defense, but the Bombers successfully stopped the quick paced attempt on goal.
Following Elmira’s attempted goal, freshman Viktoria Schultz, with an assist from senior midfielder Olivia Salindong, scored the Bombers’ second goal of the day in the 24th minute of play.
When it comes to assists, Salindong said it’s always about trying to get the ball in the correct position.
“Since I play center-mid I can see the ball, so … you just take a quick shot,” Salindong said. “Our team is always on the post and at the stroke so everyone is in the right positions.”
In minute 32:24 on a successful corner, sophomore forward Michaela Donohue scored, giving the South Hill squad a 3–0 lead over the Soaring Eagles at the end of the first half.
Entering the second half, the Bombers still had their drive and within the first two minutes they were awarded a corner. Elmira’s defense and goalie proved to be a strong force, and were not letting any goal in without a fight.
Through a series of intricate stickwork and ball handling on the Bombers’ part, they managed to shake Elmira’s defense, and the Bombers offense caused Elmira’s goalie to dive for a save. However, goalkeeper Julie Hockenberger was not able to come up with the save in the 52nd minute of play, and the goal was successfully made by junior forward Cassie Schuttrumpf and assisted by freshman forward Meg Dowd.
Toward the end of the contest, both the Bombers and Elmira received corners, but all were unsuccessful and the Blue and Gold remained victorious with a final score of 4–0.
Head coach Tracey Houk said she was proud of how the squad performed against the Soaring Eagles, and playing a team with only one more loss than the Bombers have was all about preparation.
“We saw them play, and we looked to see what their strengths and weaknesses were, just like we do with every game,” Houk said. “[We] try to focus on what we do well and how to exploit their weakness with what we do well.”
The Bombers return to Higgins Stadium at 1 p.m. Oct. 11 for another Empire 8 match-up against Stevens Institute of Technology.