WATERVILLE, Maine — The Colby College field hockey team won four games in a row for the first time since the 2003 season after a hard-fought 1-0 non-conference win over 24th-ranked University of New England in the first-ever night game on the new Bill Alfond Field.
Colby is 5-2 overall under second-year head coach Kelly Terwilliger and heads to seventh-ranked Middlebury College for a NESCAC game Saturday at 11 a.m. The Nor’easters dropped to 6-3 overall.
The field hockey program last won four games in a row when the 2003 team, featuring three-time All-American Wendy Bonner, won six in a row to start the season.
UNE, ranked 17th in the national preseason poll, was the fourth team receiving votes in the latest top 20 national poll released Tuesday.
First-year Merel van Gijzen scored the lone goal at 46:21 on a high blast just inside the circle. The Nor’easters committed a foul, allowing van Gijzen to start off with the ball. She went to her left, turned direction to beat a defender, and had a shoulder-high shot.
The Mules put some pressure on before the goal. Less than two minutes earlier, UNE goalie Liz Sargent made a nice left pad save on a hard shot by Myri Skodock.
UNE’s best opportunity for a tie came with some sustained pressure with less than eight minutes to play. The Nor’easters had three penalty corners in a span of just 59 seconds.
Colby goalie Riley Whitmyer, who came into the game ranked first in the NESCAC and 10th nationally in save percentage, earned her third shutout with five stops. She raised her save percentage to .873 and has 69 total saves in seven games.
Sargent also made five saves while starting her ninth game of the year.
Vonde Saunders of UNE and van Gijzen both had three shots on goal. The Mules had a slight 10-8 shot advantage in the game and both teams had five penalty corners.