The Slippery Rock University (3-2) field hockey team lost two games in a row, including losses against Limestone University and Mercyhurst University. SRU entered Saturday’s non-conference match with Limestone College (4-0) trying to do something that they hadn’t done in 36 years.
Since becoming a varsity sport in 1976, only once (1978) has SRU won their first four games of a season. They entered this contest with a 3-0 record, trying to extend their winning streak to four. However, Limestone defeated the Rock 1-0.
Limestone camea into the game having not given up a goal in their first two games of the season, outscoring their opponents 8-0 in those games. SRU, however, had given up only three goals on the season.
Limestone controlled the ball for the majority of the half, outshooting the Rock 7-2.
Limestone scored the first goal of the game against junior goalkeeper Carlee DuMars. The second half was an even battle, with both sides playing solid defense.
Neither side was able to score, as Limestone held on for the victory, giving SRU their first defeat of the season.
DuMars made nine saves in the loss. Senior forward Allison Shade and sophomore forward Megan McKay each had two shots apiece.
Despite the loss, however, SRU entered the national rankings at #10 in Tuesday’s updated rankings.
The Rock also had a game against Mercyhurst University on Wednesday. Mercyhurst won 4-3 in double overtime.
Mercyhurst scored twice in the opening half, scoring both goals within 1:32 of each other. Meanwhile, SRU was unable to find the back of the net as Mercyhurst took the 2-0 lead into halftime.
The Green and White scored the first two goals of the second half to tie the score. Both goals were scored by senior midfielder Kelsey Gustafson, one of which was on a penalty shot. Gustafson now has a team high of three goals on the season.
“The past two games were hard fought, and at the end of the day, we left everything on the field,” Gustafson said. “The team is learning from the negatives, but mainly focusing on the positives. Overall, the team morale is high, because we are proud of what we put on the field.”
SRU head coach Julie Swiney said Gustafson played well.
“Kelsey had a great game executing a stroke and corner under pressure for two goals,” Swiney said. “She is always a consistent player and leader for us.”
The tie was very short- lived as Mercyhurst regained the lead just 13 seconds later. The score remained 3-2 until Rock freshman forward Kailee Krupski tied the game again with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. The overtime periods featured both teams having numerous scoring chances. The winning goal was finally scored by Mercyhurst with less than seven minutes left in the second overtime.
Krupski led the team with four shots, while DuMars recorded eight saves. Junior forward Courtney Bradshaw and senior defender Anna Swearingen recorded assists. Despite the back to back losses, Swiney is not concerned.
“After seeing the character of the team fighting back from a 2-0 deficit, I believe the team will be ready to play Saturday for a win,” Swiney said.
The Rock returns home on Saturday for a non-conference game against Lindenwood University.