Field Hockey gets last laugh with win over Denison in semi-final

579

The Tigers squared off against Denison in the semi-final to begin their quest for the NCAC conference championship this past Wednesday afternoon.

After losing in the semi-finals last year to Denison, along with losing their final regular season game against the Big Red, DePauw came in seeking redemption. Taking the field with heavy hearts, the Tigers knew what was needed from them to get the victory.

Both teams held each other to a draw until 28 minutes into the first half when freshman Sarah Pereyra broke the silence with a goal to put the Tigers ahead 1-0.

But the Tigers were not about to take their foot off the gas. With time dwindling down in the first half, sophomore forward Reilly Bruce scored with just 30 seconds remaining. Bruce’s last second efforts helped DePauw claim a more convincing 2-0 lead heading into the second half.

Both teams saw limited scoring opportunities in the first half, and the second was no exception.

Stagnant play continued up until about ten minutes into the half, when Denison was able to pull themselves back into the contest with a goal with plenty of time remaining.

Unfortunately for Denison, they were not able to make the most of their opportunities for the rest of the half. As a result, the Tigers captured the 2-1 victory, punching their tickets to the NCAC championship game.

Coach Erika Dombkowski knows what opportunities lay ahead of them if they can pull out the victory on Saturday.

“I'm very proud and excited,” she said. “There have been games in the past where we have played very well together, but today we raised the bar.”

Dombkowski also praised the teamwork of the players and their determination in general.

“We played as a team, we wanted each and every ball,” said Dombkowski. “We talked about controlling every possession in this performance and we did just that, others were directive and positive. Everyone was focused. It was a total team performance today.”

First-year midfielder and forward Sarah Pereyra agreed.

“We kept up good communication and we also had great stick to stick passing,” said Pereyra. “We weren't trying to play as individuals at all during the game.”

DePauw’s next game will be away on Saturday, November 7th at 2:30 p.m.  against Kenyon, an opponent they’ve come to know in the playoffs. The last time DePauw advanced to the NCAC Conference Championship was in 2013, where they defeated the Ladies 2-1.

If the Tigers are able to prevail in Saturday’s contest, then they will advance to the NCAA Division III championships.