In this past week, the Lady Spartan field hockey team traveled to the University of Maine Farmington, looking to set the tone for the playoffs as well as capture a first round bye. The game went back and forth, remaining close from the time the clock started to tick, to the time when it showed all zeros.
Although the clock had run out in regulation, the game was still unsettled.
Overtime one and overtime two passed without either team able to put another goal on the board. Penalty shots were all that remained to decide the game.
The Spartans were up to the task, though, and scored on their first three shots, winning the penalty shots and the game.
With the win, the Spartans secured a first round bye and home field advantage for the semifinal game on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 2:00 p.m.
“It was a rough start to the season but we are where we want to be now,” said Molly Fraher, a senior captain and four-year veteran.
Rough start was right choice of words as the Spartans began with an unimpressive 0-5 record. The team eventually shaped up, though, and went on to finish with a 9-9 record. While their overall record may look a little weak, the Spartans record in the NAC makes up for it as they are 6-1 in conference play.
“We have definitely grown together as a team throughout the season, and that has shown in our games,” Fraher said.
Coach Tammy Landon agrees with Fraher, saying that the early problem was too many new players in new positions. The team stayed tough, though, and turned the season around after some growing pains.
As the old saying goes, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” The Spartans took that saying to heart, winning their last five games, rumbling into the playoffs. Their last game of the regular season was a decisive 6-0 victory against Daniel Webster.
With the bye week this week, the extended rest may help the Lady Spartans regain fresh legs for their enormous home semifinal game.
“I think the rest could go either way for us,” said Fraher, “Fresh legs will obviously be a help.”
Coach Landon’s expectations for the team should be high considering the success the team as had in the past but keeping modest she said she wants to compete.
“It’s a rematch of our last game against U Maine that we won in penalty shots so it should be a good game,” said Landon.