The Philadelphia field hockey community has been brought together recently through sad circumstances, as longtime coach Gretta Ehret has been diagnosed with breast cancer at 32 years of age. Ehret is the head coach of field hockey at Merion Mercy Academy, a team that won their division championship in 2017. An exceptional player herself, Ehret was a standout at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned All-Ivy League honors.
The Drexel University field hockey team has made itself a part of the joint effort to ease the burden of Ehret’s growing financial obligations. The Dragons hosted their yearly Play4theCure game, played to honor and support those fighting cancer. Fundraising from the game was geared specifically towards helping Ehret pay off her treatments. The game took place at Drexel’s Buckley Field Sept. 29, with the Dragons lining up against the Golden Bears of the University of California, Berkeley. Ehret’s GoFundMe page is online and is accepting donations. North of $80,00 has been raised so far.
It took less than a minute for Drexel to throw themselves into the game, with juior forward Chandler McFeeley charging the opposing side and sending a shot the way of Cal keeper Natalie Dalton. Following McFeeley’s efforts came a corner for Drexel, but the chance ended up in a quick counterattack from the Golden Bears. A long range ball found the stick of Cal junior forward Maddie Cleat , who found herself alone in Drexel’s midfield. It would have been a simple feat to send the ball past Drexel goalie Megan Hadfield, but the goal came after Cleat’s shot deflected off of junior Megan Rodgers.
Being down a goal in the first quarter always hurts, but Drexel managed to better their fortunes with the help of Katie Bagdon. The senior defender had already been responsible for key goals already in the season, and she decided on her third while the players surrounding her rushed to their places on a corner taken by Puk Thewessen. The sophomore back sent a ground ball to Bagdon, who met it with a light touch to chip an outstretched Dalton. The half ended with California leading the game on paper, having taken six shots compared to Drexel’s two.
A scoreless third quarter would not translate to a draw, as Drexel were unable to shake themselves off of a goal in the fourth period from Cleat, one which she was able to claim full credit for. McFeeley had a moment to give her teammates some relief after dribbling past Dalton inches from the open net, but Cal freshman defender Megan Connors materialized out of nowhere to dive in front of the ball. A similar defensive play came from the Dragons moments later when freshman midfielder Amber Brouwer kept the Golden Bears at bay with a hard physical stoppage. Brouwer substituting in for Hadfield marked Drexel’s first instance of playing without a keeper on the field this year. The score read 2-1 when the game clock expired.