Section: Sports

Hutchinson hits game-winner for field hockey in overtime

The Kenyon Field Hockey team remained undefeated in conference play last Sunday after a tough 2-1 overtime win against Wittenberg University. The Ladies (5-2; NCAC 3-0) were led by recently named North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Player of the Week Katelyn Hutchinson ’18. Hutchinson had an efficient two goals on three shots ­— one of them to tie the game and another to finish off the comeback win for the Ladies, who trailed Wittenberg (3-3; 1-2 NCAC) most of the game 0-1.

In the first half, the Ladies were unable to find sure footing as they failed to stop the Wittenberg offense, allowing 10 shots while only putting up four of their own. “[The] first half wasn’t our game and we knew that,” Hutchinson said.

The team seemed a little fatigued from their game the day before, and nerves were high-strung after hearing the news of Wittenberg’s defeat of Denison University (5-2; NCAC 2-1) on Sept. 13. “When we heard they beat Denison in overtime, we were a little scared,” Hutchinson said.

Goalie Sarah Speroff ’18 had to hold Wittenberg at bay for much of the first half. She allowed one goal within the first ten minutes but staved off the rest. She finished the game with 12 saves and held down her spot for the full 81 minutes, 16 seconds of play. “We don’t want to have to rely on Sarah Speroff, but we know she’s back there,” Hutchinson said. “She’s incredible.”

The Ladies attacked the second half with renewed energy. Coming out of the halftime huddle, roused by talks from both the captains and Head Coach Jacque DeMarco, the Ladies met Wittenberg’s six shots with six of their own. “Towards the second half we were able to tie it up a bit and still play our game,” said Hannah Sklar ’20, who assisted on Hutchinson’s first goal later in the half.

Hutchinson’s goal came from a two-on-one situation in which the lone defender chose to sag off of the dribbling Hutchinson. “She never committed, so then I just put it in the net,” Hutchinson said.

Speroff again helped out the team, coming up big with a one-on-one stop with fewer than 10 minutes left in regulation.

Overtime saw the Ladies maintain their intensity, outshooting Wittenberg four shots to two. Remembering their devastating triple overtime loss last year to DePauw University (5-2; NCAC 3-0), the Ladies did not want to let another overtime game slip out of their hands. Finally, in the 11th minute of overtime, the Ladies scored the deciding goal, a Hutchinson putback off an attempt by Shannon Hart ’18.

In the future, the Ladies hope to put less pressure on Speroff. Kenyon is traditionally known for its tough defense but has been adjusting to a few changes. “This year we’re playing a different formation,” Hutchinson said. “It’s definitely more offensive.” But the team is starting to see progress. “We’re just starting now to get our groove,” Sklar said.

The Ladies hope to keep up the pace as they play two away games against Earlham College (4-3; Richmond, Ind.) Saturday and DePauw on Sunday.

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