League play in the Colonial Athletic Association commenced Oct. 6 for the Drexel University field hockey team, who arrived at Hofstra University’s Hempstead campus in New York to face the Pride. Long Island was not ready for the quick pace the Dragons brought with them, personified by freshman midfielder Isabel Jacobs. No members of the Pride could guard the rookie, whose third quarter run and finish sealed the 1-0 win for Drexel.
On their return home, Drexel spent the day in preparation for their next opponent. The Yale University Bulldogs made an appearance at Buckley Field Oct. 8, making sure to hand the Dragons a hard match after a long drive from Connecticut. It was Drexel that managed to emerge the victor by the day’s end, with help from netted goals courtesy of freshman forward Cailey Lever and senior midfielder Tess Bernheimer. Yale staged a comeback with minutes to spare but were unable to complete it, with one goal from the Bulldogs not being enough to force a continuation of the contest.
Drexel’s sophomore outing in the CAA pitted the Dragons against James Madison University Oct. 11, in a game that corrected the records of both squads to 1-1 in the CAA after JMU held on to a 1-0 lead en route to a win. It was an outcome eerily similar to Drexel’s performance against Hofstra, with JMU outpacing the Dragons and deciding the contest in a late game winner. Shots came off the sticks of Tess Horan and Amber Brouwer, but strayed clear of goal.
After a solid run to open October, Drexel’s calendar had the Dragons booked against their University City rivals for an Alumni Day match. The University of Pennsylvania Quakers hold a fierce rivalry with Drexel in all sports, as evidenced by the overtime period it took to determine a winner in the Oct. 13 scrap. The scoreline was unaffected until the third quarter, when both Drexel and Penn managed to have goals come their way. Junior midfielder Katie Ronan got the scoring started after connecting off of a pass from Brouwer. The goal and assist were Ronan’s and Brouwer’s second of the season respectively. Penn retaliated a few minutes after Ronan and Brouwer earned the advantage for Drexel, with Erin Quinn’s tap in off of a screamer from Maddy Fagan keeping the Dragons on their heels.
No further goals in regulation pushed the dueling squads into a two overtime session, which started off poorly after the Quakers were awarded a penalty stroke when one of their own was taken down harshly in the circle. Elita Van Standen offered to step up to bring the Quakers home, and her shot rammed past sophomore goalkeeper Alexis Sokach. Sokach had relieved starter Megan Hadfield earlier in the game, and despite a well-played overtime, could not get a hand on the shot. The Dragons were locked down until the clock expired, and the 2-1 score was final.
The College of William and Mary will pose the next CAA challenge for Drexel Oct. 18, which will also be played at Buckley Fields. Drexel will look to get head coach Denise Zelenak her 250th career victory at the helm of Drexel field hockey.