Field Hockey Takes Two to OT
By Blake Wilder

Twice it came down to the wire and the Yeowomen still need to iron out the details in their game. The Oberlin College field hockey team played two home games into overtime and came away with a win and a loss.
The Yeowomen defeated Kenyon, 1-0, on Saturday, but were unable to keep the momentum up as they lost 2-1 to Denison on Tuesday, dropping their record to 4-3 overall and 3-3 for the conference.
The field hockey team has overcome the disadvantages of a young team and a small bench and continues to display excellent play around the field, but small inconsistencies and the inability to finish off the attack has left them with the bitter taste of coming close but not close enough.
Saturday’s game combined intensity and good individual play to keep it competitive the entire way through.
Junior Jaime Johnson and senior Chaney Stewman repeatedly combined on the right side to allow Oberlin to get into the attacking 25 and put pressure on Kenyon’s goalie. Senior Briana Quinn also added to the Yeowomen’s attacking prowess by managing to thread some long balls to the forwards from the back.
In the back Senior Christina Congelton calmly broke up Kenyon breakaways on more than one occasion.
“[Congelton] had a really nice game Saturday against Kenyon,” head coach Deb Ranieri said. “She handled the ball well.”
The game moved at an exhausting pace as play changed ends pretty regularly through regulation time, but neither team could manage to score and the game went into overtime.
The first period of overtime looked a lot like the rest of the game with lots of breaks and no scoring. As the overtime continued, Oberlin began to appear the better team, as Kenyon’s possessions grew shorter and sloppier. At the end of 15 minutes the score was still tied at 0-0, and the teams took another break.
In the second extra-time period the Yeowomen came out and scored in under a minute. First-year Meg Reitz put the ball in the cage.
The team looked slightly less impressive against the College of Wooster on Tuesday. A defensive slip in the first half allowed Wooster to capitalize on a turnover as Oberlin could only manage to get four defenders back. Wooster pressed five forwards and used the man advantage to create the opportunity to score.
At the break Wooster still led by one, but the second half looked more like the impressive play from Saturday as the Yeowomen came out strong. Oberlin had good possession in the attacking 25 for most of the half and twice as many corners as in the first half. All their pressure paid off as they managed to equalize the score with a goal from senior Nana Uemura.
Once again the Yeowomen went into overtime in search of a decision. Again it seemed like it would not come, but in the closing minute of the first extra time period Wooster managed to steal the victory with another goal.
“We played a good game,” Ranieri said. “It’s disappointing that we lost because once again I think we were the better skilled team.”
The team has been seeing some standout individual performances. “[First-year] Christine Castilla is really stepping up for us. She’s been significant in the last two games,” Ranieri said. Castilla usually plays defender but has seen time in the midfield and on the attack. “She’s been very versatile,” Ranieri added.
She’s not the only one. On the defensive side the team has benefited from good performances from Congelton and first-year goalie Siv Tang. On the other end Stewman and Johnson have been adding an offensive threat.
“[Johnson] has been really aggressive in the midfield and coming up and creating fouls causing us to get possession,” Ranieri said.
Unfortunately, the team has not been able to master the consistency needed to win games.
“We have a nice interception and we get the ball past the defender and then sometimes we’ll have a bad shot or we’ll have a bad pass,” Ranieri said.
However, the team still has over half their schedule to play and plenty of time to improve further.

“In these past couple of games I feel like we have been meshing together as a team a lot more. I think that’s because we are more familiar with our positions individually and then everyone else on the team,” Johnson said. “Since it’s such a young team it took us a while to get used to everyone’s style of play. Definitely we’ve been passing a lot more and that’s really important to win games.”

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