Article by Charlotte DiLello <chdilello@Ursinus.edu>
The penalty corner, otherwise considered the most dangerous play in field hockey, gave the Ursinus Bears the edge over Swarthmore’s Garnet on Wednesday night. A tight battle between the two NFHCA National Poll ranked teams ended with a beautiful tip-in goal from recent Sophomore forward transfer Remi Lloyd.
Both teams came into the game feeling confident with their own win streaks having beat other NFHCA ranked competitors. Each side knew their strengths to focus on heading into the matchup. The Bears’ Lloyd had some insight on their game-plan, saying “We know what to do when we get into the circle. I think we succeed more than other teams, because we have our corners down. We practice them consistently at practice every day, and we’ve mastered them at this point. So for this game we knew that’s where we could apply pressure and score.”
Using their strength drawing and finishing on corners was exactly what the Bears did. In the 11th minute they drew two quick corners, and first year Marie Brainard put away a powerful shot from the top of the circle to give the Bears the 1-0 lead going into the second quarter. Penalty corners seemed to be the story of the game for the Bears as they drew a season high 18 corners, versus the Garnet’s measly six. Ursinus’ Junior Forward Amanda Groeling offered some insight on why this was, stating, “At practice we have been working on timing our cuts and stick to stick passing so that we were ready to either shoot or look for a foul in the circle to draw a corner. Another thing that we did was go after the 50/50 balls so that we either come up with the ball or they foul us drawing the corner.”
After Brainard’s go-ahead goal the Garnet did not give up. They came into the second quarter playing very physically in an attempt to make a push. This proved to be successful as Swarthmore had a game high quarter with nine shots and a goal. Sophomore goalie Adriana Palladinetti of Ursinus made saves on the first two of the Garnet’s penalty corners but could not keep the third from the back of the net. This left the game at a 1-1 tie heading into halftime. The Bears came out of the half swinging, posting eight shots and drawing seven penalty corners. Seven is a notably high number of corners drawn in a quarter, considering many games teams don’t break five corners drawn in the whole game. But the score remained tied heading into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was filled with back and forth possession as the tension of the game started to build. Groeling commented on this, saying, “They (Swarthmore) were super aggressive, giving their all going after every ball. They wanted it but it was going to come down to who wanted it more.” This statement proved true as the game came down to the final minutes when the Bears drew another corner. It was inbounded to Midfielder Gigi Testa who then took a shot on goal that was saved and pushed out in front of the goal. Lloyd then got a stick on the loose ball and sent it into the back of the net. The sophomore got to speak on her feelings in the moment, saying, “I was so proud of my team and myself for being able to finish that game with a win. As soon as I scored, the thing that I first thought of was running to my teammates and being able to celebrate with my best friends. I think our team culture this game was unmatched. We were supporting and communicating with everyone throughout the game. We were successful and came up with the win because we worked together as a team and as a unit.”
On Saturday, the 9-6 Bears will be playing their final regular season game at home on Snell Field against the 13-4 Ithaca Bombers.