Wheaton Trips 'Cliffe Stickwomen, 3-2
Home Defense Crumbles, Offense Strong
The Radcliffe field hockey team fell, 3-2, to Wheaton yesterday at Norton in what Coach Pippy O'Connor called "a good competitive game."
After a scoreless first half, both offenses finally got untracked. Star right inner Karen Linsley broke the ice for Radcliffe with a beautiful flick at the beginning of the second half. "In the first half our girls had good speed," O'Connor said, "but after two Wheaton girls collided on the field and play was stopped, the Wheaton team came back with momentum."
Wheaton's high-scoring right inner flipped the ball past Crimson goalie Barb Matson once play had resumed to tie the score. At this point the Wheaton team rallied and scored two consecutive goals.
Then Linsley, Radcliffe's most aggressive forward," gritted her teeth and carried the ball 50 yards up field to score and narrow the gap to 3-2. But the Wheaton team held its lead to the end.
O'Connor said her team had played harder games, but "the defense was weak. Wheaton had more shots on goals, but our forward line really played as a team."
Center Nancy Sato said Radcliffe played its "best game, team-work wise," of the season, but that constant shuffling of the defense was the defense's biggest problem.
"What defense needs is a consistently working pattern of marking men and getting balls to the forwards," she said.
Radcliffe was not at full strength--weakend by injuries, sickness and academics--O'Connor said. "As a team we just don't have people sitting on the sidelines to put in."
The Crimson stickwomen will meet Dartmouth at Dartmouth this Saturday. The Big Green will "definitely be hard to beat," O'Connor said. "If we can just hold team, we'll be okay."
The team will play eight more games this season, and will take part in the Northeastern College Conference tourney at Phillips Andover Academy in Andover next week.