The Shippensburg University field hockey team captured the 2021 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship on Sunday defeating West Chester University 3-1.
This was just SU’s second PSAC title in school history and their first in 16 years.
PSAC Athlete of the Year, senior Jazmin Petrantonio, was named the PSAC Tournament MVP after scoring a goal in each playoff game, including a game-winner against Millersville University.
The Raiders (18-0) first defeated Millersville 2-1 on Friday in the semifinals game at Robb Sports Complex.
After a tightly contested first half went scoreless, the Marauders struck first with a penalty corner goal early in the third period. The goal marked the first time since the second game of the season that Shippensburg trailed at any point.
SU responded in the fourth quarter on a rebound goal from PSAC Defensive Athlete of the Year, graduate Caitlyn Wink. The rest of regulation remained scoreless and the Raiders headed into their second overtime game of the year.
The Raiders earned a penalty corner three minutes into overtime and Petrantonio capitalized with a goal off an assist from senior Jenna Sluymer, sending her team to the championship game.
On Sunday in front of a packed crowd at Robb Sports Complex, Shippensburg fell behind in the game again early on.
The Golden Rams scored with ten seconds remaining in the first period on a tipped goal.
SU answered quickly however, in the second period. Freshman defender Merel Hoekstra scored on a penalty corner to even the game.
A little over a minute after Hoekstra’s goal, Petrantonio found the back of the net. After dribbling through multiple WCU defenders, she gave the Raiders a 2-1 lead.
Freshman Valu Paul scored Shippensburg’s third goal of the third period, rocketing a shot into the top right corner off an assist from senior Adrienne McGarrigle.
Paul’s goal created the final scoring margin and SU finished with a 16-9 shots on goal advantage. They finished with a 14-3 shots on goal advantage against Millersville.
PSAC Coach of the Year, Raiders head coach Tara Zollinger was happy that her team was able to win the championship on their home field, and also recognized what it meant for the teams who came before them.
“To be able to win it on our home field and for all of our alumni who have been that close but were not able to get it done is huge,” Zollinger said.
The SU head coach also talked about her team’s ability to come from behind in both games despite not trailing that often in the regular season.
“We practiced all week like we were down, and we had this thing going for us where if we are down one then we just need to tune it up, be more aggressive and show how bad we want it,” Zollinger said. “Show a little bit more fight and grit and go find the back of the net.”
Shippensburg will now await the announcement of the NCAA Tournament field, determining what number they will be ranked and who they will face. Coach Zollinger will have her team ready for whoever it may be.
“Tomorrow we will wake up 0-0 and we will find out who we are going to play and we will have all eyes on that game so we can prepare and make our adjustments,” Zollinger said.
“The most exciting part about this team is we have yet to play our best hockey yet.”