After racking up its first win of the season with an outstanding 2-1 victory over Husson College on September 15, the field hockey team travelled to Wesleyan University in search of its ever elusive first New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) win.
The game started off with Wesleyan peppering the net, recording a 10-1 shot advantage in the first half. The Cardinals finally got one past the brick wall that is Liz Fontaine '11 to grab a one-nil advantage at 13:23 in the game. However, this lead proved to be short lived; although Colby only managed to get one shot off in the half, it found its mark. With just 6:47 left in the first half, Courtney Erksine '13 took a quick pass from Heather Quadir '11, and slammed it into the back of the goal to tie the game up. <br /><br /> After halftime, Colby came out much stronger; Hannah O'Brien '12 recorded her second collegiate goal just 9:57 into the second half to put the Mules in the lead. O'Brien's goal resulted from a play in which the ball began on the stick of the sweeper Meghan Saccone '10 and stayed in Colby possession across the field. With a little under 10 minutes left in the half, Wesleyan rallied to tie the score back up at two. <br /><br /> For 10 minutes the game was up to the Colby defense. Both goalie Fontaine and Bernatchez identified Hali Castleman '11 as a significant force in the defense. "Hali had an outstanding game. She intercepted a lot of Wesleyan's passes and made good decisions with the ball," Fontaine said of her teammate. "She might get overlooked because we had so many great performances today, but I thought she was the player of the game," Bernatchez said of Castleman. "She came up huge for us today." <br /><br /> Thanks to its defense stepping it up in the last 10 minutes, Colby was able to take the game into overtime. About a minute into overtime, it looked as if all had been for naught as a Wesleyan shot went sailing toward the open goal; however, Fontaine miraculously managed to get a foot into the ball deflecting it away from the net. "That was the biggest save of her life," Bernatchez said. "The goal was open and it seemed like she came out of nowhere to get a foot on it. It was one of those where Wesleyan's bench had already taken a step on the field to celebrate and had to come back."<br /><br /> After so much build-up, it seemed as though the Mules were destined to win. Finally Quadir was able to come up big, finding the back of the net for herself off of a pass almost identical to her earlier assist, form the stick of O'Brien. Quadir, who had been forced to leave the game early with an injury returned for overtime and was described by her teammate Fontaine as "the ring leader of the offense." <br /><br /> This impressive NESCAC win left the team and the coach in very high spirits. "The team chemistry this year is so much better than what it has been in the past," Bernatchez said. "We came back from two goals down in our opener against Trinity to tie the game, then we won the road game the other day against Husson. Things are happening for us that haven't happened in the past. I couldn't be more proud of the team and the way they are playing." Fontaine, echoing these sentiments, said, "The team was very excited. It's great to come home from a long road trip with a win, especially an overtime win." Next week, the team has three home games, hosting St. Joseph College, Williams College and New England College.