The Radcliffe field hockey team won only one of its three games this weekend and the squad played better than its record would indicate.
The stickwomen journeyed to Kingston, R.I., to play in the Northeast College Field Hockey Association Tournament, a two-day, 17-team affair. In its opening 1-0 victory over Fitchburg College, the 'Cliffe kept the ball in the Fitchburg end for most of the game, taking the pressure off goalie Barbie Matson.
However, Central Connecticut State College proved to be a tougher opponent later in the day, topping Radcliffe by a 3-1 score.
Matson allowed two goals during the first half as Central Connecticut had 23 shots on goal during the period. Karen Linsley tallied the only Radcliffe goal early in the second half, but a Central Connecticut penalty bully resulted in a goal that made the score 3-1 and ended a Radcliffe rally.
"We got discouraged during the first half but woke up in the second half," coach Pippi O'Conner said yesterday. "They were better than we were, but we played much better in the second half."
Yesterday morning Radcliffe again encountered a superior team in the University of New Hampshire, losing 3-1, UNH put 36 shots on goal in the first half alone, but Matson held the wildcats to two early goals.
Ann Ballen got Radcliffe's only score late in the first half to cut the deficit to one, but New Hampshire held off an aroused 'Cliffe squad in the second half to take the game.
In all three games of the tournament, goalie Matson was the Radcliffe star. She totalled 84 saves, most in the last two matches.
"Our defense was very impressive throughout," said O'Conner. "Our forward line could have been more aggressive and taken the pressure off the defense. But we had tough competition, as Central Connecticut and New Hampshire both swept their three games, and we played better than it looks on paper."
Matson echoed the coach's thoughts. "The last two games may be the toughest of the season, with the exception of Princeton, and they were stronger than us, especially on offense," she said. "But everybody enjoyed playing and the tournament may have brought the team together for the rest of the season."