Defeat previous champion: check
After a 40-minute lightning delay just 12 minutes into the game, goals from Taylor Bender and Bre White propelled the Shippensburg University field hockey team to a 3-0 win over the top-ranked West Chester University Golden Rams.
After the lightning delay, the game resumed, and nine minutes later, Bender got the Raiders on the board when she connected with the back of the cage with an assist from Sam Langone, who caught the rebound in front of the cage off a missed strike from Bre White.
Bender would score again in the start of the second half, her fourth of the season, with an unassisted goal. White, who leads the team in goals for the year (8), added to the Lady Raiders’ lead just under a minute later in a one-on-one situation with WCU’s goalkeeper.
White led all players with eight shots, while goalkeeper Ciarra Delost played the entire game and finished with three saves.
The victory avenged the Raiders’ 3-0 NCAA quarterfinal loss to WCU last year.
Before the start of the game, the team held a brief memorial for longtime SU coach and administrator Jane Goss, who passed away this past June. The players wore T-shirts in her honor during the pregame and a table of memorabilia was on display throughout the game.
SU dealt the Golden Rams their first loss since they dropped a two-overtime decision to LIU Post in the PSAC quarterfinals last October. After its defeat of SU in November, WCU advanced on penalty strokes against Bloomsburg in the NCAA semifinals before defeating UMass-Lowell, 2-1, in the national championship game.
Slippery Rock University comes to town next to take on SU today at 4 p.m. from Robb Sports Complex.