Sports

‘We aren’t just a small school’

Alex Hargrave
Written by Alex Hargrave

Two goal effort by Quinn Maguire leads field hockey to victory

In the six years that Ellen Ryan Field has been home to the Saint Joseph’s University field hockey program, the Hawks have not been able to beat a National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) ranked team on their turf. That is, until Sept. 10, 2017, when the Hawks beat the Scarlet Knights (4-2) of Rutgers University by a score of 3-1.

The team’s last win against a ranked team came Oct. 16, 2009 against the top ten ranked University of Massachusetts. This win improves the Hawks’ record to 4-2 before their first Atlantic 10 game.

Rutgers,a member of the Big Ten conference, is ranked 22nd by the NFHCA. The Hawks lost to 15th ranked James Madison University, 4-1, on Sept. 8.

“I thought we did well compared to our game on Friday [Sept. 8],” Hawks’ leading scorer freshman Quinn Maguire said. “We worked more as a unit than individuals and it definitely showed in the score at the end.”

After two goals in the game against Rutgers, Maguire now  leads the team in scoring. Being a freshman who has only played in six collegiate field hockey games, the title is an impressive one.

“[Being the leading scorer is] crazy,” Maguire said. “I definitely didn’t plan for it to happen or think that it would, because we have so many great players that really work well together. I wouldn’t be in the position that I’m in if it wasn’t for my team.”

The game started with the Knights putting a lot of pressure on the Hawks’ defense. St. Joe’s was able to gain control of the ball, and in the sixth minute, junior Anna Willocks found the back of the cage with a deflection from sophomore Pepa Serrano’s pass to put the Hawks up, 1-0.

“I know that Pepa [Serrano] likes to give long balls, so I was just looking for her to hit it,” Willocks said. “I just tried to get in front of my defender and get a touch on it.”

The Knights answered back shortly, shooting across the keeper for the equalizer 12 minutes into the game. The rest of the first period featured strong defense from both teams, as both the Hawks and the Knights were only able to get off two shots each in the first half. Sophomore goalkeeper Victoria Kammerinke made a save to keep the game tied with two minutes left in the half.

St. Joe’s opened the second half with high pressure, resulting in a goal from Maguire with under 20 minutes left. She followed her shot and was able to pick up her own rebound to take the lead, 2-1.

“[I was thinking] how I have to finish it,” Maguire said of her game winning goal. “It was such a close game, so I knew that all of the opportunities we got had to be finished or else we would’ve stayed tied.”

In an effort to tie the game, Rutgers increased their pressure on the St. Joe’s defense and took four penalty corners in the second half. The defense remained immovable and saved all remaining attempts to score.

In a final push to score and keep themselves in the game, the Knights pulled their keeper to put numbers up front with two minutes left. Maguire took advantage of the empty net and scored a goal on a breakaway with no time left on the clock.

Behind two goals from Maguire and one from Willocks, the Hawks cruised to a 3-1 victory over Rutgers.

“It’s always good to win, especially on home turf,” Willocks said. “The fact that they’re ranked and in the Big Ten, it’s awesome to go after them and show that we aren’t just a small school, and we can compete with them.”

After taking on three ranked teams, the team feels ready to go into conference play.

“We’ve played a varied array of teams to see how we would do, because really it’s about us, so I’m feeling really confident for our season,” Willocks said.

The Hawks will play their first A-10 conference opponent at home on Sept. 15 against Saint Louis University (3-2) at 4 p.m.

About the author

Alex Hargrave

Alex Hargrave

Alex Hargrave, ’20. Assistant Sports Editor

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