The Shippensburg University field hockey team dropped a heartbreaker in double overtime, 2–1, to Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) rival East Stroudsburg University on Saturday, Oct. 22.
Shippensburg rattled off nine-straight wins prior to Saturday’s game, good for the best record in the PSAC. However, East Stroudsburg has been the Raiders’ kryptonite over the course of the season.
SU’s only two losses have come at the hands of some late-game, overtime heroics by the Warriors.
Saturday’s matchup was another game in which goals were hard to come by. But, SU managed to jump out to an early lead against the No. 2-ranked Warriors.
Getting the first goal has been crucial this season for SU. In every game that SU has scored first, it has been able to clamp down defensively to protect its lead. ESU is the first team to break that trend.
Emily Barnard gave the Raiders the lead at the 19-minute mark of the first half on her fifth goal of the season. Barnard’s goal stood as the only goal in the first half.
Shippensburg was able to successfully clamp down on the East Stroudsburg attack in the first 35 minutes of action. But just 10 minutes into the second half, East Stroudsburg’s Robin Stevenson whacked home her 10th goal of the season to knot the game, 1–1. Shippensburg battled back, but could not slip a shot past the Warriors’ goaltender.
SU had a slight shot advantage to close out regulation, but momentum shifted in ESU’s favor as overtime wore on. Shippensburg’s defense faced tremendous pressure during overtime and had to turn away seven total shots.
East Stroudsburg midfielder Ashley Chioda put the final dagger in the Raiders, ending the game after a grueling 96 minutes of play. Chioda’s first goal of the season is perhaps the biggest goal of her career, lifting the Warriors past a battle-hardened Shippensburg squad for the second time this season.
Both of these teams are primed for a third match in the PSAC playoffs. For Shippensburg, a playoff meeting against ESU would present a shot at redemption and a chance to exorcise its demons against the reigning PSAC champions.
SU has two more games left to bounce back before the PSAC Championships. The 14–2 Raiders have an opportunity to start a new winning streak and recapture its momentum heading into the playoffs.
The Raiders will clash with the Golden Bears of Kutztown at home on Wednesday, Oct. 26. It will be SU’s final home game of the season.