Field Hockey Victory Makes Program History

Ethan Cardona, Staff

It was a historic victory for the women’s field hockey team Tuesday, as they earned their first win in the program’s history, defeating Mercy College 3-2. Freshman Taylor Geaglone scored the winning goal with less than five minutes remaining in the second half. Capping off the long-awaited first win for the young field hockey program.

Freshman Reilly Bialko opened the scoring with a penalty stroke just over nine minutes in, the first of her collegiate career. A shot from just inside the circle by freshman Alexis Rider doubled the lead for New Haven, before Mercy’s Alicia Williams scored two goals, to level the score 2-2 at the break.

Play went back and forth in the second half but neither team was able to convert the chances they had. Off a penalty corner in the 66th minute, Geaglone drove home her third goal of the season to give the Chargers a 3-2 lead. A 14th and final save from sophomore Natalie Shaker in the cage capped off New Haven field hockey’s first win in program history.

It was a huge and historic win for the team, only in its second season as a program with an almost entirely new team. 13 of its 17 players are first year students.

Although we are a young team overall, I know that this group is eager to finally step on the field and represent New Haven field hockey,” said head coach Kelsi Lykens in a pre-season interview. “They are an extremely competitive group that has the ability to make a huge impact this fall, and I am incredibly excited to see what they can achieve.”

The team started off slow, but coming into its game against sixth seeded Merrimack on Saturday, the team appeared to be on the rise.

“Our great play against Merrimack, holding them to four goals, their number six and now number five and we held them at 4-0, coming from that we felt that anything was possible for us as long as we put in the effort and didn’t give up,” said Lykens.

That toughness and grit showed in the win over Mercy as the team kept up throughout the game and was able to net three goals, which brings their season total to eight. This is four times what the team put in all of last year, which proves to show a major upside for this season and the ones to follow

The Chargers return to the field on Friday, Oct. 5 when they travel to New Hampshire for a meeting with Franklin Pierce. Following that match, the team will return to the blue turf at DellaCamera stadium Tuesday, Oct. 10 when they take on cross-town rival Southern Connecticut State, in an NE-10 conference matchup.