On September 22, the Women’s Field Hockey team at Wheaton took on Clark University at home. It was their second New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game of the season. The Lyons, whose first NEWMAC match was a 4-2 loss against Smith College, had a better performance against Clark. Wheaton fought to a 3-2 victory, claiming not only their first NEWMAC win so far, but also their first NEWMAC win since Oct. 22, 2016.
The Lyons started with an early lead thanks to Lauren Bartlett ‘20, who picked up a clearance and put the ball away just 10 minutes into the game. From there, the pressure did not let up. Wheaton kept strong in the first half and were rewarded a breakthrough goal by the team captain, Michelle Connolly ’19.
Shortly into the second half of the game, Connolly scored again, placing Wheaton in a comfortable 3-0 lead. The game felt like it was firmly under Lyons control and could even result in a shutout. However, in the 46 minute, Clark was given a penalty shot to put them up on the scoring board.
Just 15 minutes later, Clark followed up with another goal, which put serious pressure on Wheaton’s defense. Yet, they could not surpass the Lyons with their renewed efforts and lost.
Lauren Bartlett ’20 credited Wheaton’s victory to a new outlook in strategy this season. The team has stressed the importance of using every player and engaging in cohesive efforts. Bartlett went on to say this playing style not only makes them a stronger team, but that “even after playing [games] it feels a lot better, because it feels like everyone contributed and was important on the field.”
Wheaton plans on developing this team-driven mentality and focusing on each and every game. With their improved collaboration, the Lyons will be able to challenge any team. “If we win, that’s great,” Bartlett said. “But at the end of the day, I think it really comes down to how we play. If we are satisfied with our play, then the outcome really doesn’t matter.”