The Wittenberg Tigers’ Field Hockey team earned their first NCAC conference win Wednesday, Sept. 5, when they battled the Earlham College Quakers. The Tigers battled the Quakers to a 3-2 win after a late start to the game due to a lightning delay.
Once play started, the Quakers took the lead in the final few minutes of the first half. Wittenberg responded quickly to open the second half as Blaine Donnelly, ‘19, capitalized on a penalty corner to even the score at 1-1. Donnelly was assisted by Megan Niswonger, ‘21, and Isabella Wagner, ‘19. The Quakers responded moments later to retake the lead 2-1.
“I think our team really stepped it up. We’ve been working really hard in practice to prepare for our upcoming games, and it’s nice to see all that hard work pay off.” Donnelly said about Witt’s performance on Wednesday.
The score remained unchanged until Flora Van den Borne, ‘22, found a hole in Earlham goalkeeper Margaret Murphy’s defense and tied up the score at two apiece in the 58th minute.
“I’m from the Netherlands, so making my first goal here in the United States was an experience in itself. I was so surprised that my ball went into that goal” Van den Borne said when asked about her tying goal; adding, “I felt really relieved, because I was eager to win this game. Also the power and positivity which arose after that goal in our team felt amazing. I hope we’ll continue this!”
The Tigers finally took the lead on an unassisted goal by Kayla Cull, ‘20, with only five minutes remaining in the game, causing Earlham to call a timeout.
“I knew we just had to end it, we’d worked so hard that far and needed to get the job done.” Cull said in a post game interview, “After I scored I was so excited, ‘It was my first collegiate goal,’ but I knew the game still [was not] over… Earlham put up a good fight, but as a team we rose up and held our ground to get the win.”
The Tigers ended the game with a 3-2 win over Earlham bringing Wittenberg’s record to 1-1 in conference play this season.
“Earlham is a strong team, I expected a tight game with them.” head coach Kelly Hubbell said in a post game interview, “We have a close knit, hard working and coachable team. We are focused on continuing to put more pieces of our game together, and grow each day. ‘We can and we will’ is our team picked motto this season and I think it really reflects the positive mindset I want from out student-athletes.”