Pioneers Field Hockey early lead fades as Hendrix finishes strong in SAA opener

Pioneers Field Hockey early lead fades as Hendrix finishes strong in SAA opener

photo credit: Christy McCreary

Conway, Ark. – The Transylvania field hockey team notched the first two goals of the day, but the Hendrix College Warriors staged a mid-game comeback to steal a 3-2 victory from the Pioneers on Saturday afternoon at Warrior Field.

The meeting between the Pioneers and Warriors marked the first Southern Athletic Association conference game of the 2016 season for both teams, and the offense came early for each side as they looked to make the initial imprints on their respective conference seasons.   

The Pioneers opened up their first taste of 2016 SAA competition with an aggressive attack that nearly paid dividends immediately. The Pioneers earned a promising penalty corner just 4:25 into the contest that resulted in a laborious save by Hendrix goalkeeper Gabryele Pochron. But Transy continued to fire away at the Hendrix goal, almost coming up with another first score a half minute later when junior Jessica Chandler's shot hit the post.

For the next 10 minutes, the Pioneers carved opportunities and finally struck gold when freshman Scout Gibson scored off a deflected pass in the 16th minute of the game for the first goal of her collegiate career and the first of the day for Transylvania.

Transylvania adeptly continued gathering scoring opportunities with a collection of penalty corners in the first half. The volume of attacks paid off soon once more when Chandler delivered in the 27th minute for her second goal of the season and a 2-0 Transy lead that appeared it might only grow from there.

But the Warriors issued a quick response five minutes later when the Warriors' Raychl Reger picked up a goal to cut Transylvania's advantage in half. The response was swift as just before the half, the Warriors stole another goal with just 16 seconds remaining in the first period to stun the Pioneers heading into the halftime break.

The scoring settled down considerably in the final 35 minutes, save for the game-winner by the home team; four minutes and 45 seconds into the second period, Hendrix's Mary Ingabire connected on a shot to hand her team a 3-2 lead.

The third score of the day completed the scoring for both sides as the game took a defensive tone, and the Pioneers left Hendrix with an 0-4 record on the season.

Despite the setback, it was an offensively busy afternoon for the Pioneers, who outshot Hendrix 34-11, including 23 to 9 in shots on goal. But the efficiency for the host Warriors ended up being the difference.

Sophomore goalkeeper Allyson Benz collected six saves on the day for the Pioneers, while freshmen Taylor Insley and Zoe Jessie each tallied an assist.

The Pioneers have a quick opportunity for a conference reprieve as they head to Rhodes tomorrow for an 11 a.m. start. The game represents the fifth of six straight games on the road to begin the 2016 season for the Pioneers before they return home next Saturday for their home opener.

For the latest on Transylvania Field Hockey, follow their official twitter @TransyFH