The crowd sighed in exhaustion as Marauders junior goalkeeper Autumn Peters denied Raiders sophomore Valen Alonso’s shot, much to the delight of the strong Millersville crowd that made the trip to Robb Sports Complex at Shippensburg University.
It is late in the second overtime period of the quarterfinals of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) field hockey tournament. Shippensburg and Millersville have been deadlocked 1:1 ever since Millersville’s Lexi Robison tied the game in the 55th minute.
Shippensburg turns the ball over deep in the Millersville zone and the Marauders have a chance to move the ball upfield. In overtime, both teams have only seven players on the field (six position players and one goalie) and the game is sped up as a result.
Millersville’s Erica Tarsi has the ball deep in the Shippensburg zone with only one defender to beat. She makes a pass to Kyra Brakefield, who slams the ball past the diving SU goalkeeper Megan Lay and into the back of the net.
Shippensburg’s senior defenders Mikayla Cheney and Rosalia Cappadora stood near the goal, head in hands as they realize their season is potentially over.
The three-time defending NCAA Division II national champion Raiders will not be moving on to the semifinals of the PSAC tournament. Millersville defeated Shippensburg 2-1 in a game that took two overtime periods to finally have an outcome.
The Raiders outshot Millersville 7-0 in the first half, however none of the shots were on goal and the game remained scoreless heading into the second half.
Millersville began playing more aggressively and getting more opportunities to attack in the Shippensburg zone early in the second half. The Marauders totaled two shots in the third quarter, but the scoreboard still showed zeroes for both teams.
The action and pace of the game continued to pick up in the fourth quarter. Shippensburg achieved success in drawing penalty corners and keeping the ball on Millersville’s side of the field for much of the first half of the quarter.
The scoreless tie was finally broken in the 51st minute of the game when Cappadora barely pushed the ball past Millersville goalkeeper Peters to give Shippensburg a 1-0 advantage.
It did not take long for Millersville to respond — Lexi Robison tied the game just four minutes later.
Both teams battled to a 1-1 tie through the end of the fourth quarter. The game took most of two overtime periods for another goal to happen, with Millersville scoring to win the game and move onto the semifinals of the PSAC tournament.
The Raiders outplayed Millersville for parts of the game but failed to take advantage. SU head coach Tara Zollinger spoke about the team’s performance on Tuesday night.
“I thought we controlled the energy of the game,” Zollinger said. “I thought we had a lot of opportunities, but we couldn’t capitalize on them.”
They outshot the Marauders 29-10, but a fantastic effort in net by Peters (11 saves) kept Millersville in the game.
For the Raiders, the loss puts their season in dire straits. They have been knocked out of the PSAC tournament, losing 2-1 to Millersville in the quarterfinals.
Shippensburg finished the season with six losses. They most likely needed to advance deeper into the PSAC tournament in order to receive a bid to the NCAA Division II national tournament which begins later this month.
All the Raiders can do for now is look on and hope they receive an at-large bid into the national tournament. The NCAA Selection Show is on Monday, Nov. 11, at 3 p.m.