The Phoenix started the weekend defeating the Houghton College 3-1 Saturday afternoon. Wilson got on the score board just under five minutes into the game when senior, Tara Fields (Berryville, Va./ Clark County) scored off and assist from Nicole Melanson (Hyasnnis, Mass./ Barnstable). However, the Highlanders would come back and score just over 2 minutes later to level the score at 1-1. Late in the half, Megan Schneck (Bethel, Pa./ Tulpehocken) found the back of the cage, giving Wilson the advantage going into halftime. The second half was a defensive battle for both teams; however, Schneck added extra insurance for the Phoenix at the 51:20 minute mark, for a 3-1 score that would stand the rest of the game.
Less than twenty four hours later, the Phoenix took on the number 8th ranked team in the nation, Christopher Newport, and suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss. Arissa Ward (Harrisburg, Pa./ Central Dauphin) gave Wilson an early 1-0 lead, converting a penalty stroke awarded to the Phoenix just five minutes into play. Wilson’s 1-0 advantage would hold through much of the game, however the Captains were able to find the net with just seven minutes remaining in the game. Wilson was able to withstand Christopher Newport’s attack throughout most of the overtime period; however the Captains were able to convert a loose ball in the circle 12 minutes and 24 seconds into the overtime period, clinching the 2-1 win.
Throughout the game, Wilson fought a hard defensive battle, facing 37 shots from the Captains. However the Phoenix would not give in, coming up with huge defensive plays, including critical defensive saves from Ward and Chelsey Smentkowski (Marnalapan, N.J./ Saint John Vianney) during the overtime period. Freshman, Gina Weigold (Charlottesville, Va./ Monticello) had a breakout performance in the cage for the Phoenix, recording 19 saves.
Despite the loss, head coach, Shelly Novak is still pleased with her team’s performance. According to Novak, “This loss was heartbreaking, especially because I know my team played with conviction, passion, and determination. However, we elevated our playing and battled with one of the best teams in the country today. I am very proud of this team.”