After a tough loss in their conference opener on Friday, Oct. 3, the women’s field hockey team headed into their second conference game ready to defeat Lehigh University. Although both teams played over the weekend already and were somewhat drained of energy, the Stags were able to prevail, and on Sunday, Oct. 5, the Stags shutout the Mountain Hawks 4-0.
Just 33 seconds into the game, the Stags set the intensity when Ann Burgoyne ‘17 put the first goal onto the board, after an assist from Emily McCauley ‘15. Minutes later, Lehigh attempted to take two more shots before Burgoyne proved her dominance in the game, scoring yet another goal for the Stags, as she forced her way through defenders from about 25 feet back. With about 20 minutes left in the first half, the Stags were ahead 2-0.
After the second goal by Burgoyne, the Mountain Hawks took five more shots that were all deflected by goalkeeper Caitlin Bennett ‘17. With four minutes left in the half, Burgoyne scored yet another goal, making it her third goal of the game and a total of 13 goals so far this season. Only about a month into the season, Burgoyne leads the team in goals and a combined 26 points, making her a driving force in the upcoming season.
As the second half began, Emma Ball ‘18 started off in the net for the Stags. Between the defensive force of Felicitas Heinen ‘14, Valerie Buurma ‘14 and Ball, the Mountain Hawks struggled to play any offense at all, only getting two shots off in the second half. Less than 10 minutes into the game, Fairfield had already taken four shots, while Lehigh barely had the opportunity to take one. With a three goal advantage over the Mountain Hawks, Head Coach Jackie Kane was able to give her entire team playing time to prepare them for upcoming in-conference play.
“We played everybody, so everyone made a contribution and that makes me really, really happy,” said Kane. “Everyone makes a contribution to the team and we’re able to win as a team and lose as a team, and today we were able to win entirely as a team.”
As the second half continued, Fairfield took another two shots when Emily Leo ‘14 was able to get a rebound off of the goal and post the fourth and final goal for the Stags. With 10 minutes remaining, Lehigh took one more shot before the Stags sent the Mountain Hawks home with another loss for the weekend. Fairfield outshot Lehigh 17-11 during both of the halves. “We wanted to dominate this game,” added Kane.
With two goals by Burgoyne in the first game against New Hampshire, and another three goals by Burgoyne versus Lehigh, the Stags will look to the sophomore to continue to be a driving force for upcoming games.
“Scoring three goals was exciting,” added Burgoyne. “I think the first goal was the most exciting because it was like textbook. We passed well and my teammates were there.”
After their domination on Sunday, the Stags are excited to take on Maine who, Kane explained, will be one of their toughest games of the season. If they can get past Maine, the team is hopeful to return to the America East Conference Tournament yet again.