Field Hockey Earns Win in First Big East Match, Downs Providence, 4-3 after Shootout
PROVIDENCE, R.I. –The No. 22 Old Dominion field hockey team (5-1, 1-0 BIG EAST) won its first conference match on the season on Friday night, taking down Big East foe Providence (4-2, 0-1 BIG EAST), 4-3 after a 3-2 shootout victory.
Ilse Westera and Riley Taylor each played a major role in the shootout period for the Monarchs. With the shootout lasting more than five rounds, Westera had two cracks at beating Providence goalkeeper Lydia Rice, and she made the most of her opportunities, scoring on both. Taylor was called upon in the team’s seventh shootout attempt and she netted the game-winning goal, giving ODU the 3-2 shootout advantage, and the 4-3 victory.
Entering the contest, the Monarchs and the Friars were both in the midst of a four-game winning streak.
“We showed great will and determination in this game to find a way to win,” head coach Andrew Griffiths said after the game. “It’s not easy coming into their environment and getting a positive result. Their crowd and energy on a Friday night on campus was intense, so we showed a lot of character to win this game.”
The Monarchs got on the board early, as senior Alexandria Brewer netted her first goal of the year in the game’s fourth minute of action. Her classmate Rebecca Birch added to the Monarch lead shortly after, scoring from the right post to give ODU an early two-goal advantage.
The Friars managed to take advantage of a penalty corner in the game’s 17th minute, when Izzy Mendez beat Monarch goalkeeper Cam MacGillivray for her third goal of the season.
Providence kept MacGillivray busy in the second quarter, peppering the ODU goalkeeper with eight shots and totaling five penalty corner opportunities in the 15-minute frame.
At the intermission, Providence had the advantage in both shots (9-5) and penalty corners (8-1), but ODU held the 2-1 lead.
Providence tied the score late in the third quarter, as Olivia Ward scored her third goal of the season off of a pass from Mendez. The two teams went into the game’s final frame, tied at two.
Birch broke the tie in the 54th minute, netting her second goal of the game after senior Marlee McClendon dumped a pass off to her classmate to give the Monarchs the temporary lead, but Providence answered back with a goal of its own just three minutes later to tie the game at three and force overtime.
In the first overtime period, the Monarchs had two penalty corners, but couldn’t make the most of them as the Providence defense held tough. Providence couldn’t generate any offense either, and the two teams remained tied, causing the second overtime period.
It was more of the same in the second extra frame, as neither team could score the golden goal, which led to the shootout period.
“We came out flying at the start and Providence worked really hard to get back into the game,” Griffiths explained. “They are a strong team, and I have a lot of respect for their coaching staff. It was a really tough battle and it’s a shame that either team had to lose. In the end, we didn’t play our best in parts of the game, but Cam was great in goal for us and it’s great to leave here with a win.”
In total, Providence outshot the Monarchs, 13-10, and held an 8-5 penalty corner advantage.
Birch led the way for the Monarchs, notching two goals on three shots in the contest giving her four goals in the last four games.
Brewer ended the game with her goal and two shots, while both McClendon and Taylor each tallied an assist in the win.
The Monarchs will be back in action on Sunday, September 22, when they travel to Harrisonburg, Va. to take on James Madison. Game time is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.