Shippensburg University’s field hockey team honored the seven seniors on its team Saturday before finishing off its regular season with a 10-1 home win over Mercyhurst University.
The win moves the Raiders to 14-3 on the year and 8-1 in conference play. The game was a season-high in goals for the Raiders, their first time in double-digits since 2021.
Before the contest, the team honored its senior class, consisting of seven players who combined to start 179 games for the Raiders over the past four years, all of which were part of the 2021 national championship team. The seniors honored were Jocelyn Branco, Paige Graber, Mya Kemp, Valu Paul, Chloe Prettyman, Morgan Saunders and Lindsay Tripodo.
Branco spoke on the experience postgame, saying, “We have worked so hard to get here, and as a group we’ve worked so much off the field to be so much more connected. This day was so special not just for the seniors, but for everyone.”
Head coach Tara Zollinger echoed Branco’s thoughts on the class: “From the start of their first year here to now, they’ve poured so much love into this program, and they’ve always played for something bigger than themselves We really wanted to not just win a game, but play a great game for them.”
Shippensburg controlled the game from the start, scoring five goals in the first quarter to put the game out of reach. Sophomore Agus Garibaldi struck first, scoring just 1:57 into the match with an assist from junior Tess Jedeloo.
Jedeloo then scored the next two goals for the Raiders, the first being an impressive backhand shot before scoring off a corner via an assist from sophomore Savannah Silvestre. Silvestre also assisted on the fourth goal, as did Garibaldi on sophomore Taryn Mayer’s seventh goal of the year, making it 4-0 not even halfway through the first quarter.
Freshman McKenna Boyle was the next Raider to add to the tally, picking up her third goal of the year on a penalty stroke near the end of the quarter. Mercyhurst scored to open the second quarter, but Shippensburg responded quickly via Jedeloo’s third goal of the game, sealing the hat trick. Jedeloo now sits at 17 goals on the season.
Shippensburg stayed aggressive to open the second half, with Garibaldi scoring off an assist by Jedeloo just 34 seconds into the third quarter. Less than one minute later, junior Yasmin De Meyer scored her 10th goal of the season, again assisted by Jedeloo, to make it 8-1.
The Raiders added a pair of goals in the fourth quarter, the first off a corner from Garibaldi, giving her a hat trick as well and putting her at 13 goals on the year. The goal was assisted by freshman Hannah White, who then scored her third goal of the season to end the scoring off an assist from junior Nya Gilchrist.
Shippensburg outshot Mercyhurst 45-8 for the game, as well as having 18 penalty corners, compared to just two for the Lakers. Both totals are season-highs for the Raiders.
Redshirt sophomore Emma Albee split goalkeeping duties with Tripodo, combining for five saves.
It was a great game for the entire Shippensburg team, but focus now turns to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference playoffs, taking place this week with all games at East Stroudsburg. The Raiders earned a bye to the semifinals and will play Friday, with the championship game on Sunday if they advance.
Speaking on the team’s mindset, Zollinger said, “The main thing is that nothing’s guaranteed, we have one game left … it’s just really focusing one day at a time and making sure that we’re fully prepared.”