Field Hockey team set to begin post-season play

The Castleton Field Hockey team went 1-1 this weekend when they faced off against Thomas College on Saturday Oct. 16 and Maine-Farmington on Sunday. The Spartans defeated the Terriers 4-1. Castleton out-shot Thomas 20-2 and held a 14-1 advantage in penalty corners. Castleton took the lead early scoring just four minutes into play. Senior Sarah Flore earned her 12th goal of the season with an assist from fellow classmate Courtney Nolan, who also had a goal early in the second half. Freshmen Rachel Preusser earned her 11th goal of the season just minutes after Flore scored, pushing the lead to 2-0 and freshmen Blake Wardwell also chipped in a goal in the last few minutes of the match.

The next day didn’t go as Castleton would have hoped. The Spartans fell to the University of Maine-Farmington 3-2 in overtime.

Castleton led 2-1 until the terriers scored with just over eight minutes remaining in regulation. The Spartans fell in a very competitive and aggressive overtime period.

The game was very evenly matched as Castleton just barely held a lead in shots 21-17 and penalty corners 13-6. Farmington has now won four of the last six meetings between the two schools with two games going into overtime, and just one being decided by more than one goal.

Senior Courtney Nolan believes her team played as hard as they could but if they played like they are capable of there is not a doubt in her mind that the score would have been reversed.

“I feel that we played well but not to the best of our ability,” said Nolan. “If we had played to the best of our ability then we would have won that game, hands down.”

Head coach Tammy Landon agrees with Nolan and gives credit to Farmington’s hard work and determination to win.

“UMF is a physical team that never gives up and even though we had more offensive opportunities we still lost,” Landon said.

“We have to convert goals on more of our opportunities and then not allow the one goal that is costing us games,” continued Landon. “We know we can compete with them and hopefully can win a playoff game if we face them again.”

Landon thinks her team will be re-energized when it comes time for the play-offs. She says it will be very tough to get wins because the top teams in the conference are all very competitive and there have been numerous games that the team has won or lost by only one goal or went into overtime.

Landon, however, has a plan for her team that will give them the competitive edge.

“We feel strongly that we can compete with any of our conference competitors on any given day,” said Landon. “We are preparing a change in our over-all system that I believe will help give us an advantage.”

Landon is very optimistic about the remainder of the season and believes that if her team just does the little things it will put them on top.

“In order to be successful we have to capitalize on our scoring opportunities and finish more goals while shutting down our opponents,” said Landon. “We have to play with high energy and utilize our skills and speed and most importantly communicate on the field and work together as a team.”

“We are preparing well and still very much hoping to be in contention for a 2010 NAC Championship,” Landon said.

Castleton traveled to and defeated Simmons College 4-2 on Saturday Oct. 23 and will end their regular season schedule at Rensselaer College Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Spartans will host the North Atlantic Conference quarterfinal game on Saturday Oct. 30.

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