The Shippensburg University field hockey team began their season with a 3–1 win over Limestone College on Saturday in Lexington, Virginia.
The defending national champion Raiders are looking for some players to step up and replace the production that was lost from last year’s graduates. It was freshman Jenna Sluymer who helped SU open the year on a good note.
Sluymer tallied two goals for the Raiders in their winning efforts. The forward was extremely active on the offensive side Saturday, totaling seven shots in the 3–1 victory. All seven of her shots went on goal, something that is not easy to accomplish in field hockey.
SU opened the scoring on Saturday just less than 23 minutes into the game when Sluymer slammed home a rebound attempt. Limestone attempted to get back into the game in the following couple minutes, but Sluymer was there to shut the door on their opportunity when she scored her second goal of the game just five minutes later.
Limestone cut the Raiders’ lead in half when Gwen Lewis punched in a rebound attempt 33 minutes into the first half. However, that was the closest the Saints would get to the Raiders as the defense shut down almost every opportunity Limestone earned.
Continuing the theme of young players stepping up for the Raiders, freshman Jody Boyer slammed home a goal midway through the game to give Shippensburg all the insurance they would need.
When the Raiders lost 10 players to graduation after last season, some people began to think that SU, the two-year-running defending national champions, would lose a step due to a heavy infusion of youth. The efforts of Boyer and Jenna Sluymer proved that the Raiders are still as potent as they were last year when they finished 17–4.
SU put on an impressive performance in their victory against Limestone, outshooting the Saints 23-15. The game was relatively close for much of the first half, but then the Raiders took over. In the second half, SU outshot Limestone 9-4 to secure their first victory of the season.
Senior goalkeeper Ally Mooney had a good day in goal, totaling 10 saves and allowing only one shot past her.
The Raiders look to continue their good start to the season on Saturday when they take on Southern Connecticut State University in the first game of the Dora Metrelis Field Hockey Classic.