Saturday, December 22, 2012

Game 3: Dartmouth vs. Australia


The Big Green’s third and final game vs. the Australian National Squad was by far the most physical and and successful for the visiting American team. Dartmouth had standout performances from Kristen Giovanniello ‘14 in net, Courtney Bennett ‘13 in the midfield and Liz Calby ‘14 and Lindsay Allard ‘14 on attack. Dartmouth’s efforts focused on winning draws paid off, as the Big Green was able to control the tempo and ball into their attacking end. Allard got the Green on the board first as she fired low and away a free position shot. Known for their physical and high pressure style of play, the Australians had previously been successful at disrupting our attack. This game however, thanks to film and strategy sessions with the coaches, we were ready for their pressure. Moving the ball quickly and decisively, Dartmouth put in two more goals in quick succession. Hana Bowers ‘13 utilizing her quick first step and sniper left hand shot buried a feed from Allard. Allard then withstood an onslaught of pressure and swinging sticks and was awarded another free position, which she put away. Sarah Byrne ‘15 and Anjalie Christie ‘14 were both set up perfectly by Liz Calby’s ‘14 pinpoint feeding, and Calby herself capitalized off a free position awarded after being fouled low on the crease. Senior captain Bowers rounded off the scoring for Dartmouth after being taken to the ground with a hard foul. Brushing the dirt and grass off and retrieving her goggles, Bowers composed herself, stepped to the line and placed the ball perfectly around the Aussie goalie in textbook fashion.

Once again Kristen Giovaniello '14 proved to be a force in cage against the Aussies, tallying 12 saves for the Big Green. Alongside a commanding defensive unit, Giovaniello made multiple key saves off fast break attempts and limited the opponents top threat to only one goal. In just three days of play in Adelaide, her stellar performances on the field totaled 35 saves against the world class Aussies.

With the score tied at half, the Australians stepped onto the field with a new squad to start the second. The Big Green started the half mentally tough and the teams exchanged goals for the first 15 minutes. Eventually, fresh legs and the increasing heat proved a little too much for the Green as the Aussies capitalized against our turnover in the midfield with the final score being 12-7.

At the end of our third and final match, we walked away with a feeling of pride in our program and even more confidence in one another. Throughout this week, we were tested, challenged by one of the best teams in the world, and we proved to ourselves just how strong we can be. To have gained so much in a short period of time, and with the 2013 season still ahead, this is exactly how we hoped to be feeling at the end of our trip. What a successful adventure it has been both on and off the field and we could not be more excited for February 23rd!

GOALS: Allard (2), Bowers (2), Byrne (1), Calby (1), Christie (1)
ASSISTS: Calby (2), Allard (1)
SAVES: Giovanniello (12)
DRAW CONTROLS: Australia- 10, Dartmouth- 12