Field Hockey: The roller coaster ride continues

Field Hockey: The roller coaster ride continues

A year ago, on Oct. 1, 2005, the field hockey team was nine games into its 12-game win streak. Now, it’s 2006 and the Huskies aren’t faring as well. A 5-6 record (1-2 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)) is all the team has to show for their roller coaster season.

After losing two 1-0 games last week, including an overtime heartbreaker to Towson, Northeastern came out swinging in a three-game week.

On Wednesday they battled non-conference opponent Brown, and for the second game in a row took the play into overtime. After a scoreless first half, the Huskies fell behind in the 48th minute when Brown forward Stacy Gugliotta beat the NU defense and scored on junior keeper Liz Centofanti.

After being held scoreless for 230 minutes of play over a four-game span, the Huskies finally snapped the streak to tie the game in the 61st minute against Brown. Junior forward Stephanie Casper beat the Bears keeper to her right off a pass from junior forward Harriet Hoyer.

Despite outshooting Brown 10-2 in the second half, regulation ended in a 1-1 tie. With less than two minutes left in overtime, sophomore midfielder Ashley Bascetta beat a pair of Brown defenders and fed the ball to senior co-captain Whitney Shean for the game-winner.

Shean, who led the team with 19 goals last season, had scored 10 of them by this time last season. However, she has been less productive with only four goals in 2006. Scoring the game-winner may be what she needs to get hot. Last season she led the team with six game-winning goals.

“I feel I have taken on a different role this season,” Shean said. “Last year I was more relaxed but this year I am working more to lead the team. I absolutely had a tough start but this weekend I felt like I have come back.”

Centofanti made four saves in the win.

On Friday the Huskies traveled to Hemstead, N.Y., to take on CAA foe Hofstra but NU was unable to keep the momentum from Wednesday’s win going, as the Pride sent Northeastern back to Boston with a 2-1 loss.

Northeastern gave up two quick goals in the first half and the Huskies were again forced to play catch-up.

Shean attempted to repeat Wednesday’s heroics with a goal in the 26th minute, assisted by junior forward Ashley Webber. But this time the Huskies would not be able to tie the game, registering just three shots in the second half to lose the game, 2-1.

The Huskies returned home to face Delaware Sunday, still in search of their first conference victory. The Blue Hens were no match for NU, who won the game 5-0.

Despite soggy conditions Northeastern played its best game of the season, outshooting Delaware 28-3 and controlling the game for a full 70 minutes.

CAA Rookie of the Week Suzanne Hazelzet started the scoring in the fourth minute off a penalty corner from Shean and senior back Joy Earley. The Huskies struck again with two minutes left in the half when Webber sent a pass from Casper past Hens’ goalie Nikki Rhoades. The Husky defense didn’t allow a shot in the first half.

Northeastern broke the game open in the second half with three goals in five minutes. The penalty corner goal from the first half was perfectly recreated: Hazelzet from Shean and Earley for the freshman’s second goal of the game.

“We have been practicing a lot to improve our corners,” Shean said. “It is all about discipline and executing the skills we have.”

The Huskies’ penalty corners have been less effective since senior back Natalie Singelais was forced to sit the bench because of a concussion. However, the combination of Hazelzet and Earley seems to be a productive replacement for senior co-captain Sarah Eckhoff and Singelais.

Shean scored her third goal in three games off a pass from Eckhoff.

Hoyer notched the games final goal, collecting a cross from Webber for her second goal of the season.

Centofanti made one save for the shutout in her sixth consecutive start. She has taken control of the keeper position since sophomore Colleen Duffy struggled early in the season, allowing 15 goals in three games. Centofanti has allowed only seven goals this season with a .781 save percentage.

Northeastern will try to continue the winning streak tonight at Harvard (0-9) at 7 p.m. The Huskies are 17-8 all-time against the Crimson.

On Friday they will return home against CAA opponent Drexel. Drexel is 6-5 (0-3 CAA) this season and in eighth place in the conference. NU also holds the series edge against the Dragons, 11-1-1.

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