Challenging field hockey season ends with loss

Published by adviser, Author: Cody Nespor - Assistant Sports Editor, Date: November 4, 2015
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The Slippery Rock field hockey team wrapped up its season Saturday afternoon, losing 6-1 to No. 2 East Stroudsburg University (15-3 overall, 9-1 PSAC). This was the second time this season Slippery Rock played ESU, losing 2-1 in overtime against the Warriors in mid-September.

The Green and White finished the season in ninth place in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) with a  6-12 overall record and a 2-8 record in conference play.

This is just the second time in the past five years that the team has missed the playoffs.

SRU head coach Julie Swiney described this year as a challenge and said that the team is ready to move forward.

“We had a lot of ups and downs throughout and we showed that we are a young team that struggled to maintain constency,” Swiney said. “I was happy that we were ultimately able to get that sixth win and just focus on the future now.”

Against ESU, sophomore forward Kailee Krupski scored her seventh goal of the season off an assist from junior forward Megan McKay, her team-leading sixth assist.

This game marked the final game in the careers of junior midfielder Erika Rohrbach, senior forward Courtney Bradshaw and senior goalie Carlee DuMars, who made 12 saves and allowed six goals in the contest. In DuMars’s four-year career at Slippery Rock she made 47 starts in goal. DuMars leaves ranked third in the record books with 279 total saves and a career .721 save percentage and a 2.76 goals against average.

Swiney had nothing but praise to give to both of her fourth-year seniors.

“I think they have both really worked hard for four years and are both great people, great teammates, great students and we’re going to miss them a lot,” Swiney said. “Courtney has been playing since her freshman year and has been sort of a utility player the whole way through. Carlee really put in her time and worked hard and she carried that work ethic onto the field when she finally started playing.”

Both DuMars and Bradshaw have been selected to compete in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division II Senior Game on Nov. 21 at Bloomsburg University. They will represent the fourth and fifth Slippery Rock players to compete in the all-star game in the past four years.

While DuMars is sad to see her time being a part of SRU field hockey come to an end, she is excited for the opportunity to get to play in one final game.

“What I am going to miss the most about field hockey is the sense of family you get from the team and the friendships and bonds I have made with all my teammates,” DuMars said. “I am honored to have been selected to play in the senior game. I’m excited I get to play in one more game before my field hockey career officially comes to an end.”

Consistency was a constant struggle on both sides of the ball for The Rock this season, as the defense gave up 275 shot attempts and 158 penalty corners to opponents while the offense only produced 194 shots and 119 corners. SRU also only averaged 1.89 goals per game while their opponents averaged 2.78 goals per game.

McKay led the team in all important offensive categories with 16 goals, six assists, 38 points, 71 shots and 47 shots on goal. She will finish the season tied for fourth in the PSAC in goals and points and sixth in assists. DuMars was the leader on defense, logging 116 saves and over 1,184 minutes in goal.

Other main contributors on the team include Krupski and sophomore defender Kayla Mack. Krupski was second on the team in goals (7), points (16) and shots (33) while also chipping in two assists. Mack was one of the top defenders for The Rock posting five total defensive saves, tied for sixth most in a single season in program history.

“I think that Kayla Mack was just a consistent defensive player for us all season. She worked hard and always made a big difference in games,” Swiney said. “Kailee Krupski was also our second leading scorer and she’s just a player on the field that produces opportunities for Megan (McKay) and all our players.”

The Green and White will be returning 23 of 26 players for the 2016 season and with a year of progression and playing together the team will be looking to return to the postseason and perhaps make a run at the PSAC championship.

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