While the majority of Castleton Students were on break, the Spartans field hockey team was busy ripping through opponents. They won all four of their home games this week.
The week started off with a strong showing against Simmons College. Castleton exploded in the second half scoring five goals to secure the victory.
The Spartans peppered the net with shots in the first half, out-shooting Simmons 23-1. The Sharks withstood the barrage until the 29thminute when NAC player of the week Kealy Chipman scored the first of her two goals on a penalty stroke.
In the second half, the floodgates opened for the Spartans. Rachel Preusser and Chipman scored back-to-back goals a minute apart from each other.
Preusser added another goal with 29:50 left in the game followed by yet another by the Spartans from Kristy Pinkham. The opponent recorded the final goal as Simmons scored an own-goal in the 46thminute putting the count at 6-0 in favor of the Spartans.
Simmons Kelly Williamson and Aslyn Dindorf each netted a goal in the closing minutes of the game to make the final score 6-2.
The Spartans next game came against a strong Keene State team. In one of the closest games that Castleton had played all season, they came out victorious in a 7-on-7 overtime session. Blake Wardwell was the player of the game scoring 3 goals including the game winner in overtime.
Wardwell started off by receiving a picture-perfect pass from Chipman off a penalty corner and dumping it in the back of the net. Keene responded about 3 minutes later when Alex Billert scored to tie the game at 1.
The action was knotted up going into half. After the break Castleton immediately attacked with Wardwell scoring with only 30 seconds away in the half.
The Owls responded quickly with another goal from Lyndsie Rabenius picking up a deflection in front of the net, tying the game up at 2. Billert scored again in the 62ndminute to put the pressure on Castleton and taking their first lead of the game 3-2.
With less than 7 minutes remaining and down by one Castleton freshman Maria Stern scored a huge goal to tie up the game and eventually send it into overtime.
The overtime period was exciting, both teams had multiple scoring opportunities including 2-on-1 breakaways for both sides, but the defenses stood strong. Wardwell was able to break the tie with her 3rdgoal to complete the hat trick and win the game.
An ecstatic Wardwell remarked after the game that “Maria came up huge for us.Our team has tried so hard this season and played so well that it would have been a shame to lose the game”
The third game of the home-stand was especially meaningful for many of the Spartans as it was their Purple Game to support the fight against cancer. Castleton sported purple jerseys for the game in support of their cause. They were able to ride their emotions to a 5-3 victory against University of Maine at Farmington.
Both the offense and defense contributed in a team win. Mercedes Maltbie started the scoring four minutes into the game. Farmington’s Lily Barry took advantage of a scrum right in front of the Spartans net ten minutes later to tie up the game at one apiece.
NAC leading scorer Kealy Chipman demonstrated her scoring prowess yet again with a goal at the 17-minute mark to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead. Preusser and Chipman added two quick goals to conclude the half making the score 4-1.
Both teams added a goal early in the second half. Barry scored first after peppering the net with shots, and Castleton responded two minutes later with a goal by Brandi Whittemore. Chelsea Morley scored late in the half for UMF, but the Spartans proved to be too strong and came away with the victory 5-3.
The Final game of the Spartan home-stand was a nail biter against a very strong Thomas team. The Spartans fell behind early in the game and trailed 3-1 at half, only to come alive in the second half and earn a 4-3 win.
After the game coach Landon said that she was “Very proud of our team for winning a potential let-down game. This was a great team win with both our offense and our defense doing what we needed to get the win.”
Thomas’ Brittany Premo scored 2 goals in the first six minutes of the game to jump into the lead. Preusser got on the board first for Castleton and scored with eight minutes elapsed in the half. Then Miranda Tinsman responded ten minutes later scoring for Thomas off a rebound in front of the net.
With the score 3-1 going into the half, Castleton had some work to do and rose to the challenge. Wardwell scored in the 42ndminute depositing a rebound for a goal, and closing the gap to 3-2.
Senior Kealy Chipman scored soon after to tie the game up, and Stern scored the go-ahead goal for the Spartans with a shot that was ripped at the net and through the Thomas goalie Jasmine Bishop with one minute left.
The game ended in a 4-3 win for the Spartans with Kealy Chipman breaking the record for career points (146) with her lone goal in the game. She now has 62 goals and 22 assists in her collegiate career.
The Spartans return to action on October 17thwhen they are hosted by Union college, and hope to improve their 12-2 record, and remain undefeated in the NAC.