SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Daija Krygier posted her first goal of the season in the 12th minute of the second half, which helped lead the Converse College (1-7, 1-3 SAC) field hockey team to its first win of the season, defeating Belmont Abbey (2-3, 2-2 SAC) on Wednesday evening at Spartan High. The Valkyries avenged a 3-0 loss to the Crusaders just eight days prior.
"I am beyond proud of every single player tonight," said head coach Valerie Clarke. "It was a total team effort against a very tough opponent. They battled from the start all the way through the final whistle, truly earning this win!"
After only taking one shot in the first half, the Valkyries ended the game outshooting BAC by an 8-5 margin. The two teams took four penalty corners each.
The majority of the first half was an offensive struggle as well as a defensive battle, with neither team able to record anything on the scoreboard over the initial 30 minutes of action. However, Abbey's Camrynn Airello took a pass from Sophia Fuege and pushed it past the keeper to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead heading into the halftime break.
Converse went into the break and came out a different team, putting the pressure on Belmont Abbey's defense right out of the gates. Flore Samsi pressed forward and fired a shot that was just wide a minute into the second half. Seconds later Maddie Yocklin would not be denied, taking a beautiful pass from Kate Hollamby and blasting it past the goalie, knotting the contest at 1-1.
From that point the Valkyries offense was kicked into high gear, firing shot after shot at the cage. That firepower paid off in the 47th minute. Following a Bo Linders shot that was knocked away by a Crusader defender, Krygier cleaned up the shot and rattled the box with her first goal of the season.
Converse played tremendous defense down the stretch, turning away the few opportunities Abbey had to try and tie the contest. A shot by Sarah Healy in the 66th minute was kicked away by Jacqueline Wadsley and that was the last chance the Crusaders would see as the Vals ran the clock out on its first win of the season.
Wadsley played all 70 minutes in goal, collecting one save and giving up one goal. Samsi, along with Marina Montes-Nino, led the Purple and Gold with two shots each.
Converse will return to the turf on Sunday, October 7 as it welcomes Newberry for a South Atlantic Conference Conference Carolinas contest. That match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.