An old rival bites the Raiders once again.
Shippensburg University field hockey hit the road Wednesday to face off against familiar foe, East Stroudsburg University, in the team’s first in-conference match of the season.
In a battle of the top two ranked Division II teams in the nation, the Raiders ended up on the losing end for the first time this season, dropping the game 2-0.
Last season, the Raiders and the Warriors faced off three times, with SU dropping two of the matchups in overtime, but winning the most important one, knocking ESU out of the NCAA playoffs. For this season, the first match between the two titans of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) is an important one for setting the tone for the rest of the season.
SU got off to a rocky start, allowing the first goal in the game for the first time this season. Chances were hard to come by for Shippensburg in the first frame, with both teams playing it safe to avoid conceding the first goal.
However, in the second half, Shippensburg created the majority of the opportunities on goal, but the team was unable to break through to the Warrior’s net. SU senior Brooke Sheibley led the team with six shots on goal, as the Raiders closed the game with a 13-5 advantage in shots in the second half.
ESU provided SU with its toughest challenge so far this season, and the team needed to respond in the right way from its first loss of the year.
The Raiders quickly recovered from their stumble against ESU to take down the Huskies of Bloomsburg University in overtime, 3-2.
Senior Emily Barnard potted the golden goal for the second time in four games, banging home her fifth of the season on a two-on-one feed from Mary Spisak.
After shelling the Huskies’ goaltender over the first 35 minutes, Shippensburg found itself down 2-0 early into the second frame. The team needed a spark to kickstart a comeback.
That spark came in the form of Rebecca Bouyea, who scored two goals in less than 10 minutes to stun Bloomsburg, marking her fourth and fifth goals of the season. Bouyea’s goals gave life to a Raider squad that had struggled to find the back of the net recently.
That momentum continued into the overtime frame, where SU continued to pour on the pressure. Four of the past five matchups between these two teams have required overtime to decide a winner.
Just eight minutes into the first overtime period, Emily Barnard once again found herself burying the game winner, capping off an impressive finish over a Top-10 Division II team. Shippensburg finished the game with an 18-4 advantage in shots, including a 6-1 advantage in overtime.
After finishing up the team’s first road trip of the season on a high note, SU will head back to Shippensburg to take on another Top-10 team, Millersville University. The two teams face off today at 4 p.m.