Field hockey scores overtime victory in front of homecoming weekend crowd

Annalise Thole, ‘19, netted the game-winner to give the Generals a 1-0 lift over Elizabethtown

Kathryn Young

The Generals field hockey team gained a 1-0 overtime victory against the Blue Jays of Elizabethtown Saturday afternoon in front of over 300 fans. Annalise Thole, ’19, scored the game-winning shot three minutes into the extra period.

“We had worked very hard at practice all week on finishing and just walking the ball into the cage,” Thole said. “It felt like all that work had paid off and I think we were all glad that we scored early in the first overtime, ending the game.”

The goal was the first of the season for Thole and the first game-winning goal of her collegiate career. The tally was scored off an assist from captain Haley Tucker, ’19, her first of the season.

“It felt great, but it was totally a team effort,” Tucker said of her assist. “We had so many opportunities all game that we didn’t capitalize on, so it was awesome to execute on that play.”

“(Thole) was in the exact right place and finished perfectly,” Tucker continued. “It’s been something we’ve been practicing all week so it was really rewarding to have it pay off.”

Washington and Lee dominated most of the game, registering 21 shots compared to just six for Elizabethtown.

Ariyel Yavalar ’19 played in goal for Saturday’s entire contest, earning her first shutout of the season. Yavalar made three saves.

Although players on both offense and defense showed great skill throughout the game, players say it is the teamwork that really helps them win their games.

“One of our biggest strengths is definitely our team chemistry,” Tucker said. “We all mesh very well which translates to the field and allows us to play in sync. We’re always backing each other up and supporting each other on and off the field.”

“Every play in every game involves everyone on the team, so having a good team chemistry is crucial to succeeding in those moments,” Tucker continued.

Lilly MacDonald, ’18, a defender for the Generals who played the entirety of Saturday’s game, said focusing on teamwork during practice helped the team during their Saturday victory.

“This past week during practice we focused a lot on off-ball movement and team play which came through in our game play which was really great to see” MacDonald said.

The Generals, who are 3-3 on the season, are looking forward to improving their game and record as they move into ODAC play. The first league game will be played on Sept. 27 at 6:00 p.m. at home against the Hornets of Lynchburg College.

“I’m really looking forward to (seeing) how we progress as a team as the season goes on,” Tucker said. “We are improving every day and it’s really cool to a lot of the first-years step up and perform when we need them to.”

“I think the work we put in during pre-season and during every practice will pay off at the end of the season. We try to take things day by day and have faith in the process so that in November we are exactly where we want to be.”

The Generals defeated the Eagles of Juniata College Sunday morning 2-1. They will return to the field Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. when they host the Eagles of the University of Mary Washington.