Field hockey splits, learns on the fly

By Eric Creamer

The Northeastern field hockey team may be dominant, but they had to lose to someone.

The No.9 Huskies traveled to North Carolina this weekend and lost a heartbreaker to 13th-ranked Duke, 3-2. The loss came two days after they cruised past Appalachian State, 5-1, to finish their early non-league schedule. Coach Cheryl Murtagh said that despite the tough loss, her team played well.

“It was great to play the way that we did,” said Murtagh. “I think that the Duke game was disappointing because we felt that we were the better team. We didn’t finish at the end though, and that cost us.”

Senior Sarah Broderick put NU ahead with an early goal, but the Blue Devils responded with two of their own. Then, nearing the end of the game, sophomore Liane Dixon tied the game up with her fourth goal of the trip. Duke sophomore Gracie Sorbello then scored the game winner, one of Duke’s three goals, within the final ten minutes.

Murtagh said that despite the loss, the team is showing that they can compete at the national level.

“I’m very optimistic about what we can do,” said Murtagh. “We’ll just have to deal with certain things a little better. There’s no doubt that we can compete with anybody. This is probably the best team that I’ve coached.”

Senior Maureen Connelly said that their work ethic and togetherness has made them a very formidable opponent.

“We’re primarily on the same page, so everyone works hard,” said Connelly. “We all want to win just as badly, and our goal is to keep winning.”

Dixon, who was named to the conference All-Rookie team last year, was named the America East Conference Player of the Week for her performances. She scored three goals in the Huskies’ win over Appalachian State, and the native of Martha’s Vineyard has been instrumental in each of the team’s wins.

Murtagh said that her team is improving with each game, and can handle any challenge.

“We are a very good passing team, and we are capable of handling any team,” said Murtagh. “We have a lot of scorers and attackers.”

Connelly agreed.

“We’re trying to put everything together,” said Connelly. “We get better every time we step onto the field. I think that we’re an excellent team, and our level of performance has been incredible.”

NU is now 7-2, and their only losses have come at the hands of nationally ranked opponents. They open their conference schedule with an away game at Albany on Friday at 3 p.m. The Huskies come back home for the first time in two weeks when they play the Brown Bears at Sweeney Field at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Though the Huskies have shown that they are one of the better teams in the country, they still have some things to work on.

“Some days it’s one thing that we need to work on, and on another day it will be something different,” said Connelly. “We’re just looking to perfect our games.”

NU has been led by the six senior leaders on the team, and they’ve been the building blocks of the program. Broderick, Fior Arrindell, Connelly, Carley Cook, Aleisha Bemis, and goalkeeper Emily Roy have quite possibly been the team’s most important players in 2002.

“We have great senior leadership,” said Murtagh. “Our style is excellent too. These seniors have been waiting for this moment for a while.”

Connelly said that their experience has really paid off, while the talented underclassmen have also been doing their fair share.

“Our team experience is a plus,” said Connelly. “All of the classes are contributing, and that’s a good sign. Our seniors know the deal, our juniors have a lot of experience, and our younger players have already done a lot so far.”

Leave a Reply