By Jenna Ciccotelli, news correspondent
The Northeastern University (NU) field hockey team split the weekend’s games once again, losing 2-1 in overtime to Drexel University on Friday, Sept. 30 in their first conference game of the season, but beating Dartmouth College 5-2 on Sunday, Oct. 2.
The Huskies scored first on the fifth penalty corner of the game against Drexel. Freshman midfielder Axelle Dewamme inserted the ball to senior midfielder Natalie Stewart, who stopped it for sophomore forward Laura MacLachlan to send it into the goal. The goal, which came in the 26th minute of play, was MacLachlan’s fifth of the season. Stewart has assisted in a goal in NU’s past five games, while this was Dewamme’s second career assist.
Drexel senior midfielder Jessica McCarthy scored her third goal of the season to put the Dragons on the board heading into the half. With no goals in the second half, NU headed into overtime for the fifth time this season.
“[The pace of the game] definitely changes,” head coach Cheryl Murtagh said of overtime periods. “We need to pass better and keep better possession of the ball in those times. Costly turnovers really hurt us.”
The Huskies were able to stop Drexel’s first attempts at the winning shot, but McCarthy scored for the second time that afternoon to take the game home for the Dragons.
On Sunday, the Huskies outplayed Dartmouth 5-2 to advance to 6-5 on the season. NU took a season-high 30 shots throughout the afternoon, with five different players scoring – another season high.
“Whether we win or lose [the first game of the week], we try to come back and play a quality game on Sunday,” Murtagh said. “I think they did that.”
Sophomore forward Kellie Stigas scored her first goal of the season off a pass from MacLachlan to put NU on the board first.
Junior forward Kristin Abreu missed a shot off of a penalty corner, but junior forward Mia Martin was able to rebound it to score her first goal of the season.
MacLachlan tallied her second assist of the game with a pass to junior forward Jamie Bartucca to put the Huskies up 3-0.
Forty five seconds later, Abreu scored on an assist from senior defender Jessica Unger to give the Huskies their largest lead of the season, up 4-0, before Dartmouth scored on a penalty corner with no time left on the clock to close out the half with a 4-1 lead.
In the latter half of the game, Dartmouth scored again to cut the deficit to 2 goals before Unger scored a goal of her own to put the final tally at 5-2.
Senior goalkeeper Becky Garner racked up thirteen saves over the weekend when faced with 17 shots on goal.
The five goals scored by the Huskies in Sunday’s game are the most since they rolled over Towson 6-3 on Oct. 30, 2015.
The Huskies are home next weekend, hosting their first two conference games of the season. “These are significant games for us to put everything together,” Murtagh said. “This is our biggest challenge of the year.”
NU will face James Madison University on Friday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. and the College of William & Mary on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 1 p.m.
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics.