The Drexel Women’s Field Hockey team triumphed at their season opener against La Salle this past week. The Dragons won a confident 2-0, giving their long-awaited season off a roaring start Friday, March 5. Buckley Field may have been empty of supporters due to pandemic restrictions, but the ladies made a huge statement with this victory.
The Dragons experienced a few setbacks this year, with some members of the team absent due to COVID-19 regulations and matches being postponed. However, this made the team more eager to start off their season strong. The Dragons have been working hard in practice and remained positive leading up to this season. All members have followed COVID-19 precautions for a safe return to season, but they have been able to practice at Drexel’s facilities, along with many other of our athletics teams.
A crisp Friday afternoon at Buckley Field saw the beginning of the season for Drexel’s women. After their season opener against Saint Joseph’s was postponed, the team looked to start strong, although the game started off relatively slow with no goals for either team.
Drexel’s sophomore goalkeeper Megan Hadfield made herself known on the field with her save in the first half, which would be followed up by another stop-in-goal later in the game, making it the second shutout of her career for the Dragons. She proved strong over La Salle’s goalkeeper, Cassie Kincaid, who also made two saves despite the Explorer’s losing efforts.
The first goal and success for the Dragons came in the third quarter of the game. Freshman Eline Di Leva from the Netherlands used her defensive play to beat La Salle’s goalkeeper and put Drexel on the board, 1-0 up. Di Leva is one of five freshman additions to the team, alongside Adrienne Couteau, Shannon Tringola, Liz Chipman and Stephanie Oleykowski. Di Leva also adds to one of four players from the Netherlands, with the others being sophomore Amber Brouwer, sophomore Isabel Jacobs and junior Puk Thewessen. The team benefits greatly from having an array of players who can bring their expertise to the game.
No more goals came until the final minutes of the game, which picked up thanks to sophomore duo Cailey Lever and Gabriella Martina. Martina received Lever’s shot from the right side of the field and shot the goal successfully, ensuring a confident win for the Dragons.
In an interview with the Triangle, Martina said, “It was a great way to kick off our season, especially after our last season record. Half of our team was not able to be there so it really motivated us to get the win and made it even more impactful for us as a team.”
The March 10 match against Monmouth at Buckley Field has been postponed, but the Dragons are expected to play against Temple on March 14, then again at the Buckley Field against Hofstra on March 21. Both matches can be watched live on DragonsTV and Flosports.