By J.T. Mitchell
To open Southern Athletic Association play, the Sewanee field hockey team welcomed two inter-conference foes to Puett Field this past weekend. After a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to archrival Rhodes College, the Tigers bounced back with a 3-1 win over Hendrix College.
Saturday’s matchup against Rhodes was a nailbiter from the start. Ceara Caffrey (C’20), who leads the SAA in goals, scored the first goal for the Tigers in the 12th minute before Rhodes forward Hailey Mules immediately replied with a goal of her own.
Rhodes then gained their first lead of the day off a goal from Lizzie Wood in the 26th minute. Just minutes after, Hannah Tompkins (C’19) scored her first goal of the season to tie the game going into halftime.
Only one goal came in the second half, as both defenses played wonderfully. The lone goal, which came from Mules in the 47th minute, would eventually become the game-winner, handing Sewanee a hard-fought loss.
“The game [against Rhodes] showed us how we want to play,” Caffrey said.
Fortunately for Caffrey and the Tigers, the team had a chance at redemption on Sunday, when the Hendrix College Warriors traveled to the mountain.
After eleven minutes of scoreless play, Sewanee freshmen Buckley Norman (C’22) and Milly Etheridge (C’22) both scored goals to give their team a quick 2-0 lead. The Tigers held the lead through the half and up until the 59th minute, when Holly Heeb of Hendrix delivered the Warriors’ first goal of the game.
The momentum was slowly shifting to the visitors before Etheridge scored her second goal of the game, in the 65th minute, to secure the Tigers’ first conference win of the 2018 season.
“We want to take this weekend as a lesson for how to play the rest of our season,” Caffrey said. “Whether the team is our ultimate rival or not, we need to play like everything is on the line.”
The Sewanee field hockey team now stands at 7-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play. Their next game will be October 14 at 5:30 p.m. when they welcome Transylvania University to Pruett Field.