Many would describe the Raiders’ 2022 field hockey season as phenomenal. But for a team that had won four of the past five national championships, losing to East Stroudsburg in the title game was a disappointment.
This year’s main goal is simple: go all the way.
The team went 16-4 last season, going 15-2 in the regular season and only losing to Kutztown and Millersville. They then lost to Millersville again in the PSAC semifinals but were still awarded the 2 seed by the NCAA selection committee. This honor sent the team to Renton, Washington, where the Final 4 was held. Shippensburg beat West Chester 4-2 in the semifinals before losing the championship 1-0.
The Raiders are shaping up to be a stronger force this year, losing only three seniors and returning their top seven goal scorers from 2022. This includes two first team NFHCA All-Americans, being sophomore forward Agus Garibaldi and junior forward Tess Jedeloo. They also return a trio of second team all-PSAC players in Jedeloo, junior midfielder Emilia Conners and sophomore back Savannah Silvestre, with Garibaldi being named first team all-PSAC.
Shippensburg was picked second in the PSAC preseason coaches’ poll, receiving 2 first-place votes. East Stroudsburg was first with six first place votes, and Kutztown was third and received two first-place votes.
This year’s out of conference schedule features home games against Mount Olive, Belmont Alley, IUP, and Frostburg State, along with road trips to Saint Anselm, Assumption, and Mansfield.
The first two road games will be a challenge for Shippensburg, with Saint Anselm finishing #2 in the final east region NCAA rankings for 2022, only behind Assumption. The Raiders play these two teams back-to-back, facing St. Anselm on Sept. 9, before travelling to Assumption the next day.
The conference schedule shapes up unfavorably, getting both Kutztown & East Stroudsburg on the road. They do host Millersville and West Chester, both top 5 in the preseason poll, however.
The Raiders have the talent to make another run this year if they can put it all together. Head coach Tara Zollinger is entering her seventh season, and with three national championships under her belt already, she knows what it takes. Saint Anselm hosts this year’s title game, and Shippensburg plans on being there.