The Raiders have taken the season by storm, outscoring opponents 10-1 throughout the first three games of the season. SU began the season winning a tightly contested match against Messiah College, 1-0 in overtime on a goal by senior Katelyn Grazan. SU beat Messiah last season in a similar fashion, winning in overtime 1-0.
The Raiders, who are ranked No. 6 in all of Division II, then went on to dominate Southern Connecticut State, 7-1, on a complete team effort. A wave of momentum propelled the field hockey team to a 2-0 victory Sunday versus the Saint Michael’s College Knights.
Coming off of a strong 2015 campaign, the Raiders will continue the pursuit of another Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championship. SU last won the PSAC title in 2013—they were also national champions that year. SU has not missed the PSAC playoffs in 15 years, a streak long-time Head Coach Bertie Landes has cultivated during her time at SU.
“We have high hopes for our season finishing stronger than last season,” said Coach Bertie Landes. “The seniors are doing a great job of leading this team on and off the field with a solid work ethic and focus on their academic life.”
One thing that was important for the team was to continue taking steps in the right direction. Building confidence is something coach Landes felt was coming along well. “We gained a lot of confidence this past weekend with two wins in our ability to play together as a team until the final whistle blows.”
A major challenge for a coach is integrating new players to be a part of the cohesive unit with some of the veteran players. Fortunately with SU, that has not been the case. “The team is working hard on their skills and coming together as a team,” said Landes. “The young players are starting to play in the games [and execute] the things they are learning in practice.”
SU has been on the road this past weekend, and they have yet to play an in-conference match. The team will have its first PSAC match of the season this Saturday, Sept. 10 against Mansfield University. It will be held at Robb Sports Complex in Shippensburg.