After dropping a tough 4-0 loss to the Lafayette Leopards this past Friday, Sept. 8, the Fairfield University Field Hockey team looked to bounce back as they hosted the Columbia Lions on Sunday, Sept. 10 in the friendly confines of University Field.
The game looked to be in Fairfield’s hands as they led Columbia for the majority of the matchup after a quick start for the Stags on offense. After leading most of the way, the Stags’ defense struggled to hold off the Lions’ offense as they battled back down three to force the game into overtime where they would eventually steal the game with a game-winning goal to edge Fairfield 4-3.
The Stags jumped out ahead early as Jacklyn Gallagher ‘18 started the scoring for Fairfield just four minutes into the start of the contest as she netted the game’s first goal off an assist by Lilly Auch ‘21.
The Stags would go on to play solid defense for the remainder of the period, holding off Columbia’s offense as they failed to knock down a goal in the first period of play. Fairfield finished the first half strong holding a slim 1-0 lead over the Lions.
The start of the second period saw the Stags build on their early advantage by adding a couple more goals to increase their lead to 3-0. The second goal of the game came off the stick of Erin Buckley ‘18 as she connected on a penalty corner with the assist coming from graduate student Hannah Pike. Just three minutes after Buckley’s goal, Andrea Soler ‘18 would send a shot just past the goalkeeper to give them their third and what would be their final goal of the game as they led 3-0 with less than 20 minutes remaining in the game.
Although down by three with no goals on the game, the Columbia Lions looked to make one final push with 15 minutes left in the matchup and they did just that as they took control of the game for the rest of the way. Columbia would rally back to score three consecutive goals to tie the game and force it to overtime.
Columbia’s first goal came off Katherine Cavanaugh as she netted a shot just past Fairfield’s goalkeeper Caitlin Gilligan ‘19. The Columbia offense would continue to battle Fairfield’s defense for the remainder of the game. With two minutes remaining in the game, the Lions struck again as Whitney Hartstone knocked in the rebound of Gilligan’s initial block.
With just a slim one goal lead, the Stags called a timeout to regroup but to no avail as Columbia would connect on one more goal to tie the game with just one minute remaining in the game forcing the matchup into overtime.
Both teams battled through the overtime period as the game remained tied at three through 15 minutes of extra play. Just as the time was about to expire in overtime, Columbia was awarded a penalty corner which would end up to be costly for the Stags as Maeve Doherty ‘18 would knock in the game-winning goal to edge Fairfield 4-3 in overtime.
After a weekend that saw the Stags drop two matchups at home, Fairfield looks to bounce back and return to the win column as they travel on Friday, Sept. 15 to take on University of Massachusetts Lowell.