The Shippensburg University field hockey team came up short on Friday, losing a close 1-0 decision to Millersville University in the PSAC semifinal at West Chester.
An early goal by MU’s Katelyn Zapp accounted for all of the scoring in the game. An offensively sound SU team struggled to find scoring opportunities even though they played stellar defense. A missed opportunity on a penalty stroke was SU’s lone chance in the second half as the shot from sophomore Ari Saytar was saved by MU. SU came into the tournament as the No.1 seed, hoping to reach the Championship game again this year.
Offensively, SU could not find a rhythm. The Marauders dominated the statistics 11–2 in shots and 10–5 in corners. MU put SU in check all game. Miscues on passing and a slick playing surface did not aide SU’s goal to attack.
SU head coach Bertie Landes discussed playing on turf, and said, “It is a shame that you go from playing your whole season on a field surface and go to this, but we just did not come together as a team. I thought we were ready.”
Landes also spoke about wanting the team to come out passing well. She also wanted the team to be aggressive by putting pressure on MU. The Marauders, winners of nine of its last 11 games, rode the momentum from the win over Bloomsburg University into Friday’s matchup. The missed opportunity on the penalty stroke could have shifted the momentum in SU’s favor, but Saytar’s shot could not break through. The save almost summed up the lack of offense SU showed all game.
SU was banged up by injuries and looked to be hurting. SU weapon, junior Bre White, felt some effects from that.
Landes said, “Bre is hurting and couldn’t go full speed.”
MU shut down any attempt from SU to score, but Landes said it did not shut down any one individual.
“Millersville did not shut anyone down we just did not play well,” Landes said. “We did not pass well, did not play as a team, and did not match Millersville’s speed or tenacity.”
The Raiders’ season is not over though. With the NCAA tournament approaching, SU seems poised to grab a top seed and continue to play on. The seeds will be announced on Monday and SU will know its destiny.
Landes explained her thoughts moving forward into the NCAA’s.
“This only gives us two losses,” Landes said. “We are still in the driver’s seat, and still look like a top seed team.”
She also commented on the approach her team will take after the loss.
“Hopefully it will just make them hungrier. Show them that we can be beat,” Landes said.
For now, SU is just in a wait-and-see position looking to prolong its season and get back in the win column.
For more photos from the game click here