This past Saturday, the MIT field hockey team routed Smith College 6-1, earning its tenth win of the season and securing its third win in a row in conference play. The team, now 10-1, has just five games left in the regular season, including three at home.
The team did not give Smith a single minute of breathing room — literally — as Kameron L. Klauber ‘12 stole the ball at midfield and scored 57 seconds into the game. MIT never looked back, and were up by four just 15 minutes into the game. The offensive onslaught slowed towards the end of the first half, and with ten minutes left in the first half, it looked as though Smith would begin to gain control of the game. However, despite Smith’s multiple penalty corners and breakaway opportunities, the MIT defense held firm, conceding only one goal in the final minute of the half.
At the start of the second half, MIT was back in control, keeping the ball almost entirely on Smith’s side of the field. They would score 2 more goals, sealing the victory.
The only thing more impressive than the success of the team is this year was the excitement level of the game. Even though MIT clearly dominated the entire game, the few fans there were on the edge of their seats, cheering on their friends, as the offense scored goal after exciting goal. Any sports fan who enjoys displays of athleticism and skill would have been able to appreciate the game.
For those who have not seen a game of field hockey, the game play is similar to soccer and, as the name implies, ice hockey. Like soccer, there are out-of-bounds on the touch lines and goal lines, as well as offsides, corners, and even yellow and red cards (although field hockey umpires also issue green cards). Offensive strategy in field hockey is also similar to that of soccer, with players sending each other on runs and trying to create one-on-ones with the goalkeeper. The clock also does not stop, allowing two halves of continuous action.
Like ice hockey, the players use their sticks to either maneuver the ball past defenders, whack the ball down field, or reach out and steal the balls from opposing players.
The only disappointment on Saturday was the scarcity of MIT fans there to enjoy the victory. Given their stellar 10-1 record, the field hockey team deserves more recognition. We may not all be sports fans, but we can all appreciate the hard work that the team must have put in to achieve this level of excellence.
That being said, there are three more home games left in the season, the next on October 14 against Daniel Webster College.