By Jenna Ciccotelli, news staff
After being shut out by the University of Delaware on Friday, the Northeastern University (NU) field hockey team blew Towson University away on Sunday but were unable to qualify for the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) tournament, effectively ending their season with an 8-10 record.
Though the Huskies had five shots on goal, their 3-0 fall to Delaware was their first scoreless game of the season. This was the Huskies’ fifth straight loss to the Blue Hens.
Delaware’s first goal came from sophomore midfielder Michaela Scanlon in the 21st minute of play. The Blue Hens held the 1-0 lead throughout the first half before tallying on goals from sophomore midfielder Greta Nauck and senior midfielder Esmée Peet.
The Huskies saw a scoring opportunity in the second half with back-to-back penalty corners. Junior and sophomore forwards Jamie Bartucca and Laura MacLachlan combined for three shots on goal within two minutes but were stopped by Delaware.
On Sunday, NU recovered from the loss – beating Towson 7-1. Underclassmen honored the five graduating members of the squad in the locker room before and after the game with photo albums and flowers. Goalkeeper Becky Garner, defender Jessica Unger and midfielders Alyssa Carlson, Natalie Stewart and Hannah Wein each played their final game in red and black.
“They’re good people and they’re very committed to Northeastern and Northeastern field hockey,” head coach Cheryl Murtagh said of the seniors. “They’re just good citizens. I’m so proud to have coached all of them.”
Bartucca scored first for the Huskies in the sixth minute of play. Her tenth goal of the season makes her NU’s first double-digit scorer since 2013. She was assisted by freshman midfielder Axelle Dewamme, who scored her first collegiate goal on a penalty corner later in the first half.
Murtagh said Dewamme came out strong in the beginning of the season, but naturally struggled to adjust as time wore on.
“It was really nice to see her come along,” Murtagh said. “The goal she scored was great. She’s a smart player.”
Junior forward Kristin Abreu, MacLachlan and sophomore forward Kellie Stigas each scored to give NU a 5-0 lead heading into the half.
Freshman forward Jenna Johnson scored the Tigers’ lone goal in the second half before MacLachlan scored for a second time to put the Huskies ahead to win 6-1. The win was the largest for Northeastern since 2014.
Garner made two saves on the day to end her career with 427 total saves, finishing third on the Northeastern all-time saves list. She will graduate in December with a degree in communications.
“It felt surreal,” Garner said of having her own senior day. “I wanted it to slow down so I could take it all in.”
Despite Sunday’s fight, NU failed to make the CAA tournament for the second straight season.
“We have to be better prepared from the beginning of the season,” Murtagh said. “We want to keep developing the younger players that are pretty special and pretty talented.”
Murtagh stressed the camaraderie and passion that drives Northeastern’s field hockey program.
“I think Northeastern field hockey has a great group of players,” she said. “I’m really proud of what they did this year.”
Garner agreed, calling her teammates her sisters and best friends.
“I’m so lucky to have met these girls and grown with them. They have shaped me every day,” she said. “If [Northeastern field hockey] continues to produce an environment like that, I think it will continue to be a successful program.”
Photo courtesy of Jim Pierce, Northeastern athletics