Senior Erin Gilchrist had 14 saves for the Dragons during the weekend, as the Drexel University field hockey team split two games, getting shut out by division rival the No. 19 University of Delaware Blue Hens 3-0 Sept. 28, and overcoming the Ohio University Bobcats 5-1 Sept. 30. The weekend puts Drexel at an even record of 5-5, with a 0-1 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play.
In their CAA opener on the road against nationally ranked Delaware, the Dragons struggled. The teams traded chances early with senior Lisa Giezeman firing off two shots for Delaware in the fourth minute, and a Drexel shot by senior Megan Wiest that was turned away by Delaware goalie Sydney Rhodes in the sixth minute.
Then the Blue Hens took control of the half, not allowing the Dragons to get another shot attempt for over 22 minutes. Delaware got on the board in the ninth minute with goal off a penalty corner by Laurien Vink. The goal, assisted by Ally Pollak and Femke Strien, was Vink’s fourth on the season. Delaware would strike again on a penalty corner just four minutes later. This time Giezeman was able to find the net, with assists by Strien and Kiki Bink.
In the second half the Blue Hens added to their lead. Pollak found freshman Tessa Verweijen in front of the net who was able to bury it to the left side for a score. From then on Delaware played lock down defense to maintain their lead. Despite having four penalty corners in the half, Drexel was only able to muster three shots. The Dragons were unable to score, despite employing an empty net, making the final 3-0.
In the matchup, Drexel was out shot by Delaware 16-6, including 10-5 in shots on goal. Drexel’s Gilchrist led the game with seven saves, while Rhodes had five saves for the Blue Hens in her shutout effort.
The return home was much more kind to the Dragons as they took on the Ohio University Bobcats at Buckley Field in Philadelphia.
In the ninth minute, Drexel was presented with an opportunity on a penalty corner. Junior Tess Bernheimer took the corner, fed it into freshman Puk Thewessen who tipped it to freshman Emily Owens for the score. The goal was the first career goal for the rookie from Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and gave the Dragons an early lead.
In the second half, the Bobcats came out strong to start, dominating the possession. Within the first six minutes of the half they had four penalty corners and four total shots. They found the net on the fourth penalty corner, with sophomore Leah Warren putting one behind Gilchrist. The goal, assisted by Emma Eggleston, knotted the match up at one.
The Drexel response was strong, rallying to score four unanswered goals. Graduate student Layne Litsinger’s first goal as a Dragon gave the team a lead in the 53rd minute. Just two minutes later Thewessen scored her third of the season on a penalty stroke. Wiest took a deflection off a defender and passed it up to sophomore Chandler McFeeley for a score. Then Bernheimer scored her eighth goal of the season off a rebound to make it 5-1, where the score would stand. Bernheimer is currently the leading scorer for the Dragons.
The win broke a four game losing streak for the Dragons during which they only scored four goals total.
Opportunities were pretty even on the day, with both teams having eight shots on goal, and Drexel leading in total shots 13-12. Gilchrist was strong in the net once again for the Dragons leading the game with seven saves, compared to just three for Ohio’s Alex Pennington.
Field Hockey will continue their current five game homestand this weekend, taking on the No. 14 Saint Joseph’s University Hawks Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. at Buckley Field. They will then resume conference play Oct. 7 as they face off with the James Madison University Dukes at Buckley Field at noon.