By Staff Writer Thomas Griffin.
UMassD Senior Mary Brown woke up Saturday morning, knowing that her athletic career was going to change soon.
The final game of her collegiate field hockey career was near. Her squad had unfortunately missed playoffs, meaning that this last scheduled regular season game of the season was the last she would play as a Corsair, possibly the last match in her lifetime.
No matter the circumstances, she did not want to be outplayed. She had lost enough this season to be handed another loss in her last ever. She wanted to win, and she wanted to win convincingly.
Mary took the field on a rainy, brisk, and otherwise miserable October afternoon. Rain was pouring down around her, forming puddles in the athletic turf that covered the field. The weather didn’t bother her, because she could only focus on one thing – beating the Salem State Vikings.
The Vikings were the perfect opponent for Brown to finish her career against. Their season went very similarly to that of her Corsairs. Both had struggled greatly and were down on their luck, with the Corsairs approaching the end of their season at 2-16 and the Vikings remaining winless in 16 games.
Both teams had failed to make the MASCAC playoffs by a large margin. For all intents and purposes, this game mattered very little to the entirety of the NCAA.
But to Mary Brown, this game meant everything. To win it, she wanted to give everything.
The match opened to a Salem State goal, giving the Vikings the first lead of the game at 1-0. This is the last lead the Vikings would hold all game, and the last point that the Vikings would score all game.
Brown and the Corsairs caught a break when her freshman teammate Kylie Dias fired one into the net, bringing the match back to a 1-1 tie right before the end of the first half.
Brown had unfortunately spent the first half silently, and she looked to change that in the second half.
Fortunately, upperclassmen scoring opportunities opened for the Corsairs by the start of the second half. After a little back-and-forth through the puddles, Mary Brown scored to give her Corsairs the lead. She wouldn’t be done scoring just yet.
A few minutes later, freshman Lydia Stormwind scored again to extend the corsair lead to 3-1. Sophomore Brittany Perry scored soon after to further the lead to 4-1.
Brown wasn’t content with letting up on the Vikings at a three-point lead. She fired another shot into the net for her second goal of the game, which extended the score to 5-1. Another UMassD senior, Ciara Anderson, got herself a goal immediately after, adding another point to the Corsairs’ massive lead. Even with a five-point lead now, Mary Brown wasn’t finished.
She knew that she was capable of greatness in this game, and she looked to prove it once more. Finally, in the waning minutes of the match, Brown fired a third shot toward the net, gracing the scoreboard with her third point.
Hat trick. In her last game as a Corsair, in possibly her final field hockey match of her career, she pulls off a hat trick.
Through all the rain, the puddles, and the cold, she pulls off a hat trick. When an unsuccessful playoff campaign couldn’t skyrocket her to the MASCAC winners’ circle, she pulls off a hat trick.
Instead of hats soaring onto the field in her honor, the rain kept falling onto the field, in somewhat of a gradual Gatorade dump from the heavens to celebrate her 7-1 demolition of the Salem State Vikings.
Her team won’t qualify for the playoffs, but Mary Brown leaves behind the Corsairs on of the best games of her career.
PHOTO COURTESY: BRIAN BABINEAU