Field hockey rolls over UMass for fourth straight win
Rebekka Stucker '04 certainly didn't waste any time in justifying her selection to the Division I North/South Senior All-Star game.
Behind another three goals from the senior from Queensbury, N.Y., the Dartmouth Field Hockey team defeated the University of Massachusetts 3-1 Wednesday afternoon in Amherst, Mass. Stucker, the reigning Ivy player of the week, has scored 11 goals in the last four games, all of which have been wins for the Big Green (4-10, 1-3 Ivy).
On Monday, Stucker was rewarded for her performance this year with a spot on the North team in the All-Star contest, and on Wednesday, she showed the Minutewomen why she made the team, as she turned in her third hat trick of the season on the field where the All-Star game will be played.
Dartmouth put UMass (3-15) on its heels early. After Minutewomen goalkeeper Christine Tocco made three straight saves on Lindsay Gossage '06, Stucker picked up the rebound and shot it into the top of the net to give the Big Green the 1-0 lead.
Stucker scored her second goal of the day off a penalty corner with 20:42 left in the first half to put the Green up by two. Gossage and Averill Doering '04 assisted the play. Despite being outshot by UMass 10-7 and drawing one penalty corner to the Minutewomen's three, the Big Green went into the break with the 2-0 advantage.
UMass scored its lone goal of the game with 17:46 left when Sarah Mulvanity sent a loose ball past goalkeeper Lauren Balukjian '06. It was the only shot the Minutewomen were able to get by Balukjian who recorded a career-high 11 saves in the game.
"We came out strong in the first half possessing the ball with a lot of really good passing combinations," Balukjian said. "The second half we struggled to get the ball out of the backfield and as a result, we gave up a lot of defensive corners and shots. Despite UMass's opportunities, backfielders Nina Fulmer '06, Laura Kistler '06, Shala Byers '07, and Kristen Parkinson '04 remained strong and held UMass to only one goal late in the second half. Fortunately, despite the minimal time Dartmouth spent in the attacking circle, Rebekka Stucker managed to score three goals.
Stucker's third goal came with 15:46 remaining. Gossage and Doering assisted off the penalty corner. The score was the last of the game as Dartmouth finished with the 3-1 victory.
"It was nice to get a win against UMass," Stucker said, "but I think we all know we could have played a lot better than we did. We had glimpses of beautiful passing and poise with the ball. That was great, but we just need to be more consistent for 70 minutes. I think everyone is really psyched for this weekend; we have the chance to beat two top twenty teams."
The Big Green women travel to Cambridge on Saturday where they will face #16 Harvard (11-4, 4-1 Ivy) at noon. Harvard dropped a 3-2 decision to Princeton last weekend, but bounced back with a 4-0 win over Boston University on Wednesday.
The Crimson feature a balanced attack, as Elizabeth Andrews, Kate McDavitt, Shelley Maasdorp, Jen McDavitt, and Tiffany Egnaczyk all rank among the Ancient Eight's leading goal-scorers, while goalkeeper Katie Sacarian's 1.55 goals-against-average is the third best in the Ivy League.
Dartmouth then visits Holy Cross for a 1 p.m. game on Sunday. Jenna Cook leads the Crusaders with 13 goals, while goalkeeper Jennifer Corsilli sports a 1.98 goals-against average. The Crusaders have dropped two straight games to Ivy League opponents in Yale and Brown, and Dartmouth will attempt to become the third when the teams face off at 1 p.m. on Sunday in Worcester.