(Photo Courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics) “River Hawk Karli Penrod fights for the ball with Golden Bear Claire Hind.”
The UMass Lowell River Hawks field hockey team had an upsetting double overtime loss to the University of California at Berkley Golden Bears during the America East Conference Championship semi-finals that were played at the Wicked Blue Field on Friday, November 3rd.
UMass Lowell ended the game with 11 shots and six on goal. Cal finished with 20 shots and 11 on goal.
The first half of the game was in favor of the River Hawks. They were able to go 2-0 after two periods.
The River Hawks played strong defensively after the first goal of the game, made at the 8:33 mark by sophomore forward Isabelle Halters.
The second goal of the game was at the 17:38 mark by sophomore forward Madison Leeper with an assist from senior back Aurise Tattie.
The River Hawks got the ball rolling quickly from the start of the game. The home team put a lot of pressure on California through the first quarter. They had two would-be goals but they were called, keeping the score just 1-0.
During the 21st minute, senior goalkeeper Christina Calandra made a diving save for a goal-line stick stop. Two minutes later, the Golden Bears would make it on the board with a direct corner goal from forward Daniella Rhodes.
Then at the 27:19 mark, Rhodes with assists from defender Cato Geusgens and midfielder Claire Hind would come in clutch for the Golden Bears by bouncing a ball up over a stick and batting it into the the cage to force a 2-2 tie.
The River Hawks increased their defenses during the fourth period and moved to the Golden Bears’ offensive end for most of that period, and the defense fought off eight shots with some help from freshman goalkeeper Marie Oliemans to force overtime.
Cal and UMass Lowell battled for more than 45 minutes at a stalemate, in a 2-2 tie. Just under four minutes into the second overtime period at the 73:59 mark, Golden Bears’ Daniella Rhodes received a pass on her left side and she would shoot into the right side of the wing and earn a hat trick that would end the game. This would be Rhodes’ second hat trick of the season and fourth in her career, along with her 19th goal of the season.
This is the end of a historic season for the River Hawks as they end with a 14-4 record, and clinched their first-ever division one top seed spot and first-ever ranking in the top 20 teams in the nation as number 14.
“I’m super proud of the performance today,” said Head Coach Shannon LeBlanc. “It was a great, gutsy game. We showed our work rate, our discipline, and all the things we’ve been working on. Tournament time is a different time. When you’re up against 10 grad students and we’ve got three or four freshmen playing into the game, experience was definitely on the opponent’s side today.” Fans are excited to see what next year has in store for the team.