Sept. 1 – Bethany, W. Va. – T.J. Solomon started her senior season in spectacular fashion, scoring two goals and adding an assist in Bethany’s 3-2 win in double overtime against the College of Wooster. The win marked the first time since the field hockey program was rebooted in 2012 that the Bison won their opener.
"This is the exact confidence boost that these players needed," commented second-year head coach Kylie Hrehor. "The team played hard through the heat and everyone gave it their all out there. I couldn't be prouder of the way they have started their season."
Solomon (Beltsville,Md./Elizabeth Seton) got the 2015 campaign started with her first goal in the sixth minute. Wooster was able to respond quickly with a goal by Leah Prescott in the 10th minute.
The two teams fought hard for an advantage throughout the first half, but both goalkeepers played solid and the score ended 1-1 at intermission.
The Bison offense quickly found their rhythm at the start of the second half with a goal by senior Courtney Gill (Little Egg Harbor, N.J./Pinelands Regional) that was set up on a breakaway touch pass from Solomon.
The Fighting Scots once again had a quick answer and scored just over a minute later to tie the game 2-2 in the 55th minute.
The Bethany defense regrouped and continued to stand tall, as the teams found themselves knotted at the end of regulation.
The first overtime saw action that went back-and-forth, as each team narrowly missed out on multiple scoring opportunities. The Bison had many different players contribute throughout the extra period, and they seemed to have the momentum going into the second overtime.
About eight minutes into the second overtime, Bethany was fouled in the circle and received a penalty corner. After junior Lauren Rao (North Tonawanda, N.Y.) entered the ball into play, Solomon and sophomore Hunter Webster (Newark, Del./Newark) pulled off a successful give-and-go at the top of the circle which Solomon promptly drilled into the corner of the net.
The Bison had 20 shots in the game with 13 of those on goal. Solomon led the Bethany offense with seven shots of her own, while Gill, Rao, and junior Selena Vieria (San Jose, Calif./Leland) added three each.
"We really rely on our seniors (Gill and Solomon) to get the offense going," remarked Coach Hrehor. "They really went out and played extremely hard tonight. They have always been our leaders by example."
The Green & White had some exceptional defensive plays to stop Wooster from scoring throughout the game. Four different players recorded defensive saves, including Webster with two and freshman Sierra Cuellar (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) with one.
"There is not enough you can say about the job that Hunter and Sierra did," commented Hrehor. "Being able to rely on two young players like that, is something really rare. I couldn't be prouder of the way they held down the backfield."
Senior goalkeeper Courtney Snyder (Bristol, Pa./Bristol) battled through the heat and extra time to earn the victory. Snyder played all 96 minutes and finished with nine saves of her own.
"I saw a lot of determination out of Snyder tonight," remarked Hrehor. "I saw treamendous growth in her in just one game. I can't speak enough to how far she has come."
Bethany will be back in action on Friday, September 4th when they host Cedar Crest College at 7:30 p.m.