Shippensburg University’s field hockey team fell short, 2-1, against East Stroudsburg in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship game at East Stroudsburg on Sunday afternoon.
In the PSAC semifinals, the Raiders won 1-0 in overtime against Kutztown at East Stroudsburg on Friday afternoon to advance to the PSAC final.
While preparing for PSAC semifinals, the Raiders used the three days they had once they knew who their opponent would be to watch film and gain reps to ensure they could execute the changes they needed to make, according to Head Coach Tara Zollinger.
Both teams fought hard on defense and kept the ball out of the goal for all four quarters of the game. Kutztown had 12 shots on goal, while Shippensburg had six.
With neither team having scored by the end of the fourth quarter, the game was moving into overtime. The first team to find the “golden goal” would advance to PSAC finals.
“We trusted their skills, gave them our overtime plan but were so confident in their tough mindset that they were going to go out there and find the golden goal,” Zollinger said going into overtime.
Kutztown had 4 shots and 3 penalty corners within the first four minutes of overtime. Three of the four shots were saved by redshirt-sophomore Emma Albee, Shippensburg’s goalie.
Shippensburg earned a shot at goal by junior Yasmin De Meyer immediately following.
Just seven minutes and 12 seconds into overtime, Shippensburg’s junior Tess Jedeloo scored the “golden goal.” Jedeloo dribbled the ball back-and-forth, creating space for herself to take the shot, which sailed past Kutztown’s goalie and into the net.
Shippensburg raced onto the field to celebrate with Jedeloo.
“These are the moments they plan for, these are the moments we coach for. To see the pure joy and excitement on our student-athletes faces is just amazing,” said Zollinger.
The team had just one day of rest between the PSAC semifinals and PSAC finals. According to Zollinger, Saturday was a day full of watching film, scoring reports, athlete treatment, relax time and team bonding.
“By the time Sunday comes around the team will be 100 percent ready to compete for the championship,” Zollinger said.
The PSAC final game was set to begin Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.
In the final, both teams lived up to their No. 1 (ESU) and No. 2 (Shippensburg) rankings from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) as they fought for the ball. There were momentum shifts multiple times between the two teams.
With just under six minutes left in the second quarter of the game, Jedeloo scored for the Raiders. This was her second goal of the weekend after her first being the winning goal in PSAC semifinals on Friday afternoon.
Jedeloo scored off a penalty-corner from freshman Hannah White. Shippensburg had a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Starting the third quarter strong, East Stroudsburg had several penalty corners and shots on goal. Shippensburg goalie Albee saved a total of 11 shots throughout the duration of the game.
With about three minutes left in the third quarter, East Stroudsburg scored.
Both teams played aggressively in the fourth quarter with East Stroudsburg having only one shot on goal. Albee stopped this goal sending the game into overtime with a score of 1-1.
For the majority of the first overtime period, Shippensburg had a player advantage due to one of East Stroudsburg’s players being under a 7-minute penalty.
With the score still being tied, the game went into a second overtime period. Shippensburg had one shot on goal in the period, while East Stroudsburg had six shots and six penalty corners.
About eight minutes into the second overtime period, East Stroudsburg’s Jady van Gils scored. East Stroudsburg won the PSAC Championship game, 2-1.
After the game Zollinger said, “While we were all disappointed with the result, we were proud of the toughness, effort and overall will to win we saw demonstrated from our student-athletes.”
Zollinger and the team plan to take the lessons and experiences they learned from the PSAC tournament moving forward.
The team’s sights are now set for the NCAA tournament.
“We are eager and excited to see where we seed in the tournament and are mentally ready for the battles ahead,” Zollinger said.
The NCAA Selection Show is on Monday afternoon at 3 p.m.