Field Hockey Celebrates Senior Day By Defeating UNH Wildcats

The stands were full of fans and the Saint Michael’s team on Friday October 21 as UVM Field Hockey celebrated their Senior Day by hosting the University of New Hampshire Wildcats and destroying them in four-goal shutout. The game not only marked the first UVM victory over UNH since 2001, but also the final home game for seniors Ariel Eber, Merrie-Beth Maynard and Emily Fitzgerald. According to Athletic Communications, the trio are the only student-athletes left on the team that were on the team the last time UVM went to the America East Tournament in 2002. Maynard and Fitzgerald are both captains and both Maynard and Eber earned America East First Team All-Conference honors last season. The whistle sounded the start of play and UVM didn’t waste any time launching an offensive attack and within the first six minutes, Kate Lipton (Class of 2008) had gotten the ball out of Catamount territory up to Danielle Collins (Class of 2008) who assisted Liz Berry (2007) in her second goal of the season. Collin’s maintained an offensive mindset and repeatedly sent the ball into the circle. Freshman Kari Furlani also attempted a shot with a beautifully chipped ball barely missing the goal and the crowd moaned in disbelief. The teams continued to duke it out until there were less than two minutes of first half remaining. At this point Collins got control of the ball and was able to bring it up the right length of the field and send directly to Merrie-Beth Maynard’s (Class of 2006) stick who relayed the ball into the back of the goal. As the sun sank further behind the green mountains and the cool air got colder, both teams fervently returned to the battlefield for round two. For about the first ten minutes each team’s defense put up a good fight, senior Maynard continued to represent her skill and experience on the field keeping the ball out of the Catamount’s circle. At the nine-minute mark, Collins began a play with Kelly McKlintock (2008) by passing her the ball. McClintock fed the ball right back to Collins to sent it straight to the back of the goal. With that, UVM dominated the rest of the game and delivered one final punch in the face with a perfectly timed pass that came from Berry connected with Furlani in the last minute of the game, resulting in a four goal victory for the Catamounts- securing their trip to the postseason games. Boston University (3-0) and Maine (3-0) have also clinched spots in the 2005 American East Field Hockey Championship on November 4-5. Either team will be the top seeds for the four-team tournament, but the order of the seedings has not yet been determined. The two played on Sunday at noon and as of press time the seedings were still unknown. The win demonstrated all of the hard work that the team has put in on the the new turf, “Today we really dominated large parts of the game and played our style of play which led to many great scoring opportunities,” head coach Nicki Houghton told Athletic Communications. “After hard work and playing on a turf field every day, the team is coming together in time for the conference playoffs, but first we have to prepare for Albany next week.” The Albany game is very important for these Catamounts as they might very well end the season in a three-way tie with Albany (1-2) and UNH (1-3).