Lily Ives ’23
In the final week of regular season play, the Trinity field hockey squad experienced an insane range of emotions and fist-clenching pressure. From frustration and deep disappointment to exhilaration and joy, it all lead to a week that ended with a magical thriller that had everyone on their feet cheering.
On Trinity’s family weekend, the Bants were set to face off against NESCAC foe, the Williams College Ephs, on Saturday, October 22nd. This contest took place not only on family weekend but also on senior day for the squad. The Bantam field hockey team celebrated their five accomplished seniors: Emma Cropper, Emma Cohen, Riley Nichols, Emlyn Patry, and Elle Fair.
Williams, ranked number 10 in the nation, wasted no time opening the scoring with their first goal just over two minutes into the competition. The goal was scored by Kiki Higgins, who Trinity junior goalkeeper Olivia McMichael ended up denying another shot from later in the same quarter. After Williams took the lead in the contest 1-0, the score then held steady throughout nearly the entire game as the Bantams struggled offensively, only able to put up three shots in total. In the final minute of the game, Shea van den Broek scored and also scored a safety net goal for Williams, making the final score 2-0 in favor of Williams.
Though falling short to a NESCAC rival evokes a feeling that can only be described as pure disappointment and anger, this feeling was certainly short-lived for the Bants. The field hockey squad had a quick turnaround following the Williams game, as they looked to play yet another NESCAC rival, the Amherst College Mammoths, the following Tuesday, October 25th. The Mammoths came into the contest fresh off a 10-game winning streak and looked to extend that streak to 11 games at the expense of Trinity; however, that would not happen.
The first half of play consisted of intense back-and-forth action, but neither team was able to hit the back of net, leaving the score knotted at zero going into the second half. The Bantams came into the second half hot, scoring just three minutes in on a goal by junior Demi Janis, off an assist from fellow junior Katrina Winfield. Hope was rising for Bantam fans as time ticked down in the fourth quarter, with the Bantams remaining in the lead. This feeling was quickly stripped away with just over five minutes left in regulation, as Anna Aiello put the Mammoths on the board, tying the game at 1-1. The final five minutes of the contest were filled with fever-pitch desperation and challenging play by both squads as both teams fiercely denied each other opportunities to score, leading the game into a tense and dramatic overtime.
Just as the contest seemed destined to roll into double overtime, graduate student Caelin Flaherty delivered for the Bantams, scoring the game-winning goal with just under two minutes to go in overtime, making the final score of the game 2-1 in favor of the Bants. After Flaherty beautifully rocketed the ball into the back of the net, celebration ensued, as the Bantams crushed Amherst’s winning streak and ended their own regular season play with a thrilling win. The game was remarkably close in nearly every team statistic, with both teams having 32 fouls and 5 corners each, as Amherst made eight saves while Trinity made seven, and Amherst took 13 shots while Trinity took 15. The Bantams ended their successful regular season with an overall record of 12-3, and 7-3 in NESCAC play. May this OT thriller propel the Bants in the NESCAC playoffs! Roll Bants!