Field Hockey pulls off a sneaky win

Gaels beat Marauders 2-1 in close contest

Queen’s hard work pays off at home.

Queen’s Field Hockey faced off against the McMaster Marauders on Friday night at Tindall Field for their first game of the season.

Right from the beginning, the Queen’s fans were vocal and supportive. A small section of parents gathered in lawn chairs to cheer the players on, while an impressive number of students with big signs and loud voices filled the metal bleachers.

Evidently, field hockey has a much larger presence at Queen’s than one might expect.

Queen’s started the game by laying on the pressure, but McMaster matched their intensity as both teams attacked the ball with hustle.

Both sides used the field well and took up space with wide passes. However, the game started with many free hits for each team as the ball kept getting turned over, with the Gaels and Marauders struggling to find the balance between pressure and fouls.

Throughout the entire first half, there was little action on net. Although both teams had opportunities, neither scored during their penalty strokes

However, the lack of measurable action didn’t discourage team spirit. Queen’s matched their fans’ energy as they encouraged each other, called for the ball, and set up plays.

By maintaining this energy, Queen’s started to dominate toward the end of the second quarter. They had multiple chances on net as the Marauders began to panic on defense, leading to them being awarded multiple penalty corners in a row.

Nina Watson and Kathrina Ritter led the Gael attacks in the second half. They seamlessly exchanged passes and provided their offence with much-needed structure.

Meanwhile, Ailsa Sibbald held it down in the back. Her crisp defense led to few turnovers, providing the defensive support Watson and Ritter needed up front.

Despite Queen’s field control, McMaster scored a goal in the third quarter by taking advantage of some small mistakes. The Gaels were not discouraged, however.

They kept the pressure on, with Watson and Ritter continuing to attack to with speed as they spent what remained of the third quarter in McMaster’s end.

In the fourth, Queen’s finally finished their chances. With 11 minutes left in the game, Queen’s Isabelle Mastanuono scored off a penalty corner as their hard work finally paid off.

That goal broke the curse, and the Gaels followed up their first point with another by Vera Bulowski six minutes later. For the first time all game, it looked like Queen’s could pull off a win.

As they neared the end of the game, Queen’s players tired and began showing the toll of the game. The position slowly moved as McMaster started to spend more time in Queen’s end.

In the end, though, Jennie Izatt, the Queen’s goalie, was a wall. Her reliable saves helped secure the win for Queen’s with a final score of 2-1.

Field Hockey has their next game on Sunday at York University.

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