As the regular season ends for Shippensburg University’s field hockey team, its true test begins.
The team closed out a solid week on Saturday, grabbing a 4-3 victory against Mercyhurst University. The Raiders also defeated the No. 3 Marauders of Millersville University on Wednesday, a game that carried significant implications.
SU finishes the season with an overall record of 14-3 and 9-1 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), with Wednesday’s win granting Shippensburg the PSAC regular season title and the right to host the PSAC tournament.
This season, the Raiders have found success in producing a volume of shots against top teams in the conference and Wednesday’s matchup with Millersville was no different.
The Raiders pummeled the MU goaltender, firing 20 shots toward the net and out, cornering the Marauders 11-2 in the game.
SU’s Mary Spisak kicked off the scoring, beating her defender one-on-one to fire home a low shot past the MU goalie. Spisak finishes the season with nine goals and five assists, both career highs.
The Marauders continued to battle, eventually getting the equalizer just eight minutes after the start of the second half.
Millersville nearly took the lead with a shot just inches from slipping past SU goaltender Ally Mooney, but the ball slammed off the post and out to preserve the score for the Raiders.
Shippensburg went on to score on the ensuing drive, with senior Brooke Sheibley stealing the ball and finding SU’s leading scorer, Emily Barnard, who blasted in her PSAC-leading 18th goal of the season.
The Raiders closed out the game with that score line, taking a 2-1 victory against another top PSAC team into the team’s final game of the season.
Shippensburg hit the road again to Mercyhurst on Saturday, taking on the Lakers in the team’s final match of the season, winning the PSAC showdown, 4-3.
The Raiders started off the game on fire, cashing in three times in the first half, with the final goal coming on a penalty corner as the first half clock expired off the stick of Madison Scarr.
SU dominated the first half, posting an 18-1 advantage in shots and out-cornering Mercyhurst 10-0.
Shippensburg tallied another goal just after the start of the second half, giving SU a seemingly insurmountable lead.
Mercyhurst began to generate some offense, though, capitalizing effectively on its scoring opportunities.
The Lakers knocked in three goals of their own, but were unable to complete the comeback. The Raiders finished the game off, taking the final match of the regular season before waiting to hear who will be the team’s PSAC semifinal opponent.
Due to Shippensburg’s stellar record in its conference games this season, SU will head into the PSAC tournament with a first-round bye. The team will have a full week of practice before hosting a home playoff game on Friday afternoon.
The Raiders will face the winner of Tuesday’s West Chester University vs. Bloomsburg University match. SU’s postseason begins Friday at 1 p.m. at Robb Sports Complex.