May 3, 2012
Revenge is sweet; double revenge is sweeter, and it’s even sweeter via upset. After being knocked out of the NCAA tournament last season by Colby and losing to them during the regular season, Hamilton avenged those losses and beat the Mules 9-4 in dominant fashion.
Last week, the 19th-ranked Hamilton women’s team (7-9, 4-6 NESCAC) traveled to Maine to play sixth-ranked Colby (13-2, 9-1 NESCAC) for a NESCAC quarterfinal.
Following three consecutive tight losses to Ithaca College, Williams and Trinity, the team saw the NESCAC championship as a fresh start. Hamilton received the seventh seed in the tournament, which includes seven schools ranked in the country’s top 20.
Colby knocked Hamilton out of the NCAA tournament last year in a close 6-5 win. They also beat Hamilton 11-9 earlier in the season.
Hamilton got off to a very good start, with Madison Beres ’15 scoring first in the fourth minute of the game. Colby followed with a quick goal from Lindsey McKenna and took the early 2-1 lead on a second consecutive goal.
Hamilton battled back with goals from Rachel Friedman ’14, Emily Brodsky ’14, and Katie D’Antonio ’14 to close the half with a 4-2 lead.
In the second half, the Continentals never looked back, scoring five times to take a relatively easy, yet extremely impressive, 9-4 win against the sixth-ranked team in the nation.
Beres and D’Antonio each picked up their second goals while leading scorer Friedman added two more goals in the half. D’Antonio also assisted on a goal by Libby Schultz ’12. Dewi Caswell ’14 and Kari Koga ’15 both had solid games in goal, as Caswell picked up three saves in the first half while Koga had six saves in the second.
Paige Engeldrum ’13 recovered four ground balls for Hamilton. While the teams were even on ground balls and turnovers and near even on shots, Hamilton pulled away on fast breaks and by converting two of four free-position shots, while Colby did not convert any of their four free-position shots, marking a key difference in the game.
“We have improved on the little things that contribute to a win,” said Engeldrum, “but most importantly, our team has gained the confidence and composure to control the tempo in our game.”
This weekend, Hamilton continues NESCAC tournament play with a semifinal at Trinity (14-1, 9-1 NESCAC) on Saturday at noon. The championship takes place the following Sunday. Hamilton lost a close game at Trinity by the score of 8-7 just two weeks ago and hopes to turn around that loss by “improving on errors made during the previous game,” according to Engeldrum.
“This is going to be a very competitive weekend, but the team is definitely looking forward to it,” she continued. “The postseason is a blank slate, and as the NESCAC has proved, anything can happen.