BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr field hockey team played a great game earlier Tuesday afternoon on Applebee Field. The Owls played great defense and managed a few sharp counterattacks throughout their game against Goucher, staying within a goal well into the second half. Although the Gophers managed to pull away in the final minutes to a 5-1 win, this was easily one of the best games of the season for the Owls, and there were a lot of positives to draw from today's contest.
Goucher (8-2, 1-1 Landmark) got on the board first with the opening goal of the game just ten minutes into play. Kristen Shklanko took the ball down the left side and cut in on the baseline, ultimately working her way inside the circle. As Bryn Mawr's defenders closed down on her, Shklanko slotted a great centering pass directly in front to Jackie Juarez, who sent a great shot directly into the center of the cage to make it a 1-0 lead for the visitors.
The Gophers would continue to press throughout the first half, but a combination of great goalkeeping from Angela Meng and fantastic defensive play from Owls like Katie Alpert, Bryn Mawr (0-7, 0-4 Centennial) helped keep the home squad right in the thick of things. At one point midway through the half, the Gophers earned several penalty corners in a row, but Meng was there to make two of her 13 saves on the day to keep the Owls in close contact scorewise. Alpert was also a huge factor in the game for Bryn Mawr, as the junior defender was all over the place in front of the cage to make three defensive saves on the day. Freshman Emma Hicks also had a defensive save, as the Owls threw everything they had in front of goal to keep the Gophers at bay.
Goucher finally broke through for a second goal late in the first half when Antonia DiLuca intercepted a Bryn Mawr clearing effort on the left side of the circle. DiLuca found some space and walked in on the cage, firing to the left of Meng and inside the left post for the second goal of the game.
However, Bryn Mawr would strike right back with a goal of their own. Right off the restart, the Owls worked their way into the offensive zone. Ultimately, the ball would make it to the stick of Holly Senebandith, and the junior managed to send a great cross directly in front of the cage. Out of the swarm of bodies in front of the goal, freshman Abigail Lua was able to get her stick on the pass and send a rocket of a shot screaming into the bottom left of the goal to get the Owls back within one. It was Bryn Mawr's second goal of the season, both of which Senebandith has had a hand in. Even better, it is the first time any team has scored against Goucher in the first half all season, a streak that had lasted over nine games.
Bryn Mawr continued to play solid defense throughout the majority of the first half, with more saves and defensive saves keeping the Owls just one goal back of the Gophers. Before Bryn Mawr could find that game-tying goal, however, Goucher showed off their quick strike capability by scoring twice in a 15 second span, ultimately putting the game out of reach. Goals from Maya Belin and Melissa Joseph made it a 4-1 game, and then four minutes later, Erin Field netted an insurance goal for the visitors that capped off the scoring at 5-1. Bryn Mawr did have one last chance to potentially scratch another goal across on a penalty corner, but the insertion was cleared out by the Gophers to stop the final threat.
Bryn Mawr will look to get some good recovery time in over the next few days before hosting another game on Applebee Field this weekend. The Owls will host Dickinson College on Saturday afternoon for another Centennial Conference tilt. The Red Devils are currently 6-3 overall and 2-2 in Centennial Conference play, with a big league game looming tomorrow against McDaniel. Saturday's game should have big implications for the conference leaderboard, and things all kick off at 1:00 PM.