Field hockey falls to Wake Forest 2-1

By on September 27, 2015

By Alan Branch–

The eighth-ranked U of L field hockey team falls to another ACC opponent, seventh-ranked Wake Forest 2-1 at Trager stadium on Sept. 25.

Although Friday’s game had a high level of physicality, there were several missed opportunities, and the Cards remain winless in ACC Conference play.

“This is where I need to practice what I preach, and it’s all about the process not about the outcome. And as much as it’s really difficult to handle a loss, we played some really good hockey,” said head coach Justine Sowry. “We had our opportunities and unfortunately we didn’t capitalize.”

The teams were scoreless 22 minutes into the game until Wake Forest’s Krysta Wangerin scored off a pass in the circle to the front of the cage.

A little over five minutes later, the Cards leading scorer Stephanie Byrne stroke back with a goal that might not have went in without the help of an opposing player’s leg that knocked the ball passed the goalkeeper. The first period ended with a tied score, 1-1.

The Cardinals quickly went to attack mode to start the second period, where the physicality began to heighten.

“We wanted to come out hard, but I think the umpires were trying to set the tone, so to speak, to try to control the game. You know, we have to stay discipline and adapt to however the umpires are umpiring the game. We were able to absorb a lot of the pressure, because we were playing with two players down for a period of time, and we were able to cope with that pretty well,” said Sowry.

Later in the second period, Wake Forest found another opportunity with 12:28 left on the clock. Forward Jule Grashoff scored a goal with the help of a corner shot.

Even though the Cardinals managed to get five corner shots compared to Wake Forest’s one in the second period, they were not able to get any of the shots to fall into the cage.

ACC Defensive Player of the Week goalkeeper Valerie Dahmen for Wake Forest had an outstanding game with a total of 11 saves, and her biggest one came near the end of the game.

With only 15 seconds left on the clock, the Cards were awarded a penalty shot and a chance to tie the game. Their clutch midfielder Elisa Garcia, called “Chile,” had been 2 for 2 thus far this season on penalty shots but an incredible save was made by Dahmen who stuck her leg out in the nick of time to keep her team ahead of the Cards 2-1.

At the end of regulation, coach Sowry gave high praise to Wake Forest as she continues to believe in her young team to bounce back and regroup from a crushing loss as that one, which could have easily gone the other way around.

“Wake Forest is a very good team. They put a lot of pressure on you. And one of our goals was to welcome that pressure and I think that we did a marvelous job at that. We were able to maintain our composure, keep possession of the ball, and we wanted to attack in numbers. So we did that today and we had a lot of opportunities, and unfortunately we didn’t capitalize. I’ll give credit to the Wake Forest penalty corner defensive unit and certainly their goalkeeper who had an outstanding game,” said Sowry.

The Cardinals continue on the tough stretch of their schedule and play next Friday, October 2 at 6pm against the number sixth-ranked Duke Blue Devils.

About Alan Branch

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