The Slippery Rock University women’s field hockey team’s season came to a close last Tuesday when they dropped a 5-0 loss at East Stroudsburg University (17-4) in their first Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) playoff game since the 2014 season.
Before their playoff appearence, The Rock also lost their final regular season game at No.3 Millersville University in a 3-2 overtime loss. In the end, the Green and White came out with a 10-9 overall record with a 5-5 conference record marking their first winning season since the 1998.
“I think the team learned that hard work, believing, and 100 percent engagement by 100 percent of the team leads to winning,” SRU women’s field hockey head coach Julie Swiney said.
Great front pressure early by the Warriors lead to them getting the first five shot attempts of the game, with the fifth shot finding the back of the net in the 17th minute, adding another four minutes later to take a 2-0 lead into halftime.
The Rock was able to find some offense early in the second half with five shot attempts of their own, with two penalty corners to boot, but East Stroudsburg had every answer. Later the Warriors would add three insurance goals all within 10 minutes on their way to a 5-0 victory.
“ESU brought playoff experience and confidence that we were unable to match,” Swiney said. “The experience of making the playoffs was invaluable for our team.”
In total East Stroudsburg managed 10 shots on goal off of 18 attempts, while The Rock could only muster two shots on net, with just five attempts. Freshman midfielder Abby McKay and freshman Courtney Page accounted for the Green and Whites two shots on goal.
Senior Nicole Bream and freshman Maddie Murphy split time in net as usual with Bream playing the opening 44 minutes of the game allowing three of the goals and making two saves. Murphy finished the game off surrendering the final two ESU goals while making three saves.
With the emergence of top freshmen like forward Kayla Ulrich and defender Brittany Morgan, The Rock has something to look forward to and build upon for the next few seasons.
“We had a strong season,” Swiney said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to build off of the success, but know it will take a lot of hard work as our league is so competitive.”
Ulrich ended up leading the team in points with 24 off of 11 goals and two assists, while Morgan came in second with 15 points with six goals and three assists.