By Heather Kuch
The Ohio Wesleyan Women’s Field Hockey team finished last week with two conference wins over Oberlin and Wittenberg bringing their record to 5-4.
OWU played Oberlin on Sept. 27 and Wittenberg on Saturday at Selby Stadium. The Bishops were able to defeat Oberlin with a score of 2-1.
Senior midfielder Lauren Bailey and freshman attacker Montana Knapp scored the two goals for the win against Oberlin on Thursday.
Bailey said each win helps the team to learn about what works best for them.
“Our team is young but we are progressively growing and building confidence,” Bailey said. “Each win continues to help us realize that we are a good team with the potential to win the conference this year.It’s nice that our team’s talent is spread throughout every player instead of having one or two standout players because everyone contributes.”
The Bishops scored at the end of the first half in the game against Oberlin as Bailey rebounded a blocked shot into the Yeowomen goal.
In the beginning of the second half, Knapp increased the Bishop lead to 2-0 when she scored the second goal for the Bishop offense.
Despite a comeback attempt from Oberlin, which brought the score to 2-1, the Bishop defense was able to hold off further scoring attempts and end the game.
Freshman keeper Karson Stevenson, said the win was challenging because most of the team members are not at their full performance.
“Most of the team is actually sick right now so everyone was working extra hard to play past that,” Stevenson said.
“Securing the win gave us the motivation to continue forward. This season has been about pushing past limits and achieving new heights. Even when we lose we are learning new things, constantly improving.”
Junior attacker Jenna Ortega agreed with Stevenson and said the game could have gone better even though they were able to pull off the win.
“Our game against Oberlin was not our best performance but we were able to come out with the win nonetheless,” Ortega said. “We were inconsistent on Thursday and did not connect as a team until the second half.”
The Bishops were also able to defeat Wittenberg with a score of 2-1 with goals from Ortega and junior attacker Sadie Slager.
Knapp said the team is ready for every game they play and they rely on working on their fundamental skills.
“We (were) really excited about our game today and we (couldn’t) wait to get on the field and do our best as a team,” Knapp said.
The first goal of the game came in the second half when Slager was able to score on the Tiger keeper with an assist from Knapp.
The Tigers were able to tie the game shortly after Slager’s goal and tried to score twice more but Stevenson was able to stop both shots.
Ortega was able to score a goal for the Bishops with a penalty shot in the final seconds of the game which gave the Bishops their second conference win of the week.
Sophomore attacker Daylin Stevens said the team played well because they wanted each other to succeed.
“Our team is a family as well as the many connections throughout the field,” Stevens said. “If someone falls there is always someone there to catch them. We work as a unit, not as individual players; it’s a team sport and some games are better than others.”
Ortega said she believes the wins last week will help the team in the coming weeks.
“I think the back to back wins this week has given us the momentum that we need,” Ortega said. “We hope to keep up the winning and dominate the second round of conference games. When we started the season no one expected anything from our team. Now after our first round of games I think that we are a threat to each and every team in our conference.”
Bailey agreed with Ortega and said getting two big wins within the conference season are essential.
“We have eight games left and seven of those games are conference teams, so every game is important,” Bailey said. “I think we are definitely gaining respect within the conference and our opponents are realizing that we are competitors.”
Stevens agreed with Bailey and said the team plans to keep working hard no matter what their record shows.
“Our team goals are to just keep improving and once we hit a high point on the ladder we cannot go back down,” Stevens said. “Every win or loss is just more fire underneath us to do better the next day.”
The Bishops play Saturday at Selby Stadium at 11 a.m. against the DePauw Tigers.