The Shippensburg University field hockey team opened up its season with a pair of non-conference wins in North Carolina on Saturday and Sunday.
The Raiders’ season began on Saturday afternoon with a 4-0 win against Belmont Abbey. Shippensburg dominated offensively, outshooting the Crusaders 27-4 and 16-2 in shots on goal.
The scoring began early, with SU tallying two goals in the game’s first seven minutes.
Sophomore Jenna Sluymer finished with a hat trick, scoring three of the team’s four goals on the day. She was second on the team in goals (12) last season, and she quickly showed that she will be a major force in the Raiders’ offense again this season.
Junior Jazmin Petrantonio also had a good game, totaling a goal and an assist in the win against Belmont Abbey.
The Raiders, winners of the NCAA Division II field hockey national championship each of the last three seasons, are a special team partially because of their offense and their ability to control the ball in the opposing team’s side of the field. Against Belmont Abbey, they once again proved their ability to win using an attacking, smothering style of play.
Shippensburg opened up Sunday’s game against Queens (North Carolina), a 3-1 win, in the same fashion as Saturday’s game, with an early goal by Sluymer. The goal was her fourth of the season and came in the fifth minute of the game.
It was assisted by Petrantonio, something that is a good sign for the Raiders. If those two players can consistently work together and develop a chemistry on the offensive side of the field, it will be a nightmare for opposing defenses.
Queens put up a better fight than Belmont Abbey, tallying 12 shots and four shots on goal. However, they were only able to get one shot in the net past redshirt sophomore Megan Lay.
Lay, who only played in four games as a redshirt freshman, is inexperienced and it helps to have an experienced group of defenders in front of her as well as an attacking, aggressive offense that is more than willing to keep the ball in the other team’s zone for most of the game.
Senior Rosalia Cappadora also had a strong game on the offensive end, totaling three shots (two shots on goal) and scoring one goal.
The Raiders (2-0) continue their season Wednesday with their home opener against Millersville University at Robb Sports Complex.