The No. 8 field hockey team fell in heartbreaking fashion this past weekend, losing to Williams in the dying seconds of the NESCAC quarterfinal. The loss eliminated the Mammoths from the tournament, taking away the opportunity to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a conference tournament victory.
The quarterfinal contest, which was played on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Hill Field, was a defensive battle right from the opening whistle. There were only 10 shots registered all game, only four of which were on goal. The Mammoths had the best chance of the first quarter when Abbey Kays ’25 ripped a shot from the top of the circle that went just wide of the cage to the Williams goalie’s right.
The Ephs were the story of the second quarter, however. Williams generated all four of their penalty corners and half of their eight total shots in the second frame. The pressure ended up paying off, as they found the back of the net to take a 1-0 lead with 6:16 left in the quarter. That margin held into halftime, with the Mammoths in dire need of a response.
Entering the final half of the contest, the Mammoths tightened down their defensive hold and did not allow a shot for the entire third quarter. Williams similarly clamped down defensively, however, and the Mammoths were unable to generate any scoring chances of their own.
It wasn’t until the dying moments, with 4:22 left in the fourth quarter, that the Mammoths were finally able to capitalize on an opportunity. Kat Mason ’25 received the ball near the top of the circle off a penalty corner and slid a pass to her left where Beth Williamson ’23E was waiting. Williamson sent a brilliant no-look backhand pass to Kays, who fired a shot toward the net where Sam Maynard ’25 deflected the low shot past a pair of Eph defenders and the netminder to tie the game at one apiece.
The game looked to be headed into overtime knotted at one, but Williams generated a golden opportunity in the final seconds of regulation. Regaining possession in their half of the field, the Ephs connected on a dangerous pass into the circle and managed to backhand a shot past a diving Sara Nidus ’24 with just 12 seconds left on the clock for a 2-1 lead. The goal was too much to overcome in such little time, and the game tragically ended with a last-second defeat for the Mammoths.
With their conference title bid now over, the Mammoths will wait and see if their season will continue in the NCAA Tournament, which begins early next week. The team will find out whether they made the 32-team field on Monday, Nov. 7.