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Field hockey drops opener

By David Rothstein

Wheaton College's Steph Higgins had blood streaming down her knees as she walked off the field with a few minutes left in yesterday's field hockey game at Jack Barry Field. But she also had two goals in a 4-1 win over host MIT. The game was the first of the season for the two teams, both members of the New England Women's Eight Conference.

The teams played an even match in the first half. Wheaton got the first goal, as Sallie Kent put the ball past Engineer goalie Helen Shaughnessy '91 with 16:30 remaining. But MIT's Daphne Karyda '94 answered with a goal (Susie Ward '92 assist) at 8:50.

"The first half was real even," said Wheaton coach Heidi Pike after the match. "We played a little tentatively. . . . I wanted our team to play more aggressively."

The second half did indeed favor Wheaton, as the Lyons adjusted to the omniturf surface, and outran and outplayed MIT, scoring three times. The Engineers managed only one shot on goal in the second half, compared to eight in the first. Wheaton, meanwhile, had 12 and 17 shots on goal in the first and second halves, respectively, for a combined 29-9 advantage in that category.

Wheaton freshman goalie Julie Ferranti made five saves for the Lyons, while Shaughnessy made 17 for MIT.

First-year coach Sue Landau was not disappointed with her MIT's performance, though, noting that "we have to work on getting our confidence up, on fine-tuning our basic skills."

Landau added that her team would also have to work on improving its fitness. MIT looked tired toward the end of the game, perhaps a result of Wheaton's quick-paced game.

"Our style of play does tire a team out," commented Pike. "We change the point of the ball [often], forcing teams to play defense."

Both MIT and Wheaton fielded very young teams this year, with the Engineers starting five freshmen and the Lyons three.

MIT faces Western New England College Saturday at noon on Jack Barry Field.