Field hockey falls to No.1 West Chester

Published by The Rocket, Author: Vince Scalamogna - Rocket Contributor, Date: October 9, 2018

On Saturday, Oct. 6th at Mihalik-Thompson Field, the number one ranked West Chester University Rams topped Slippery Rock University in a PSAC women’s field hockey game by the score of 2-0.

It ended up being a busy game indeed for Slippery Rock’s defense as the Rams of West Chester took a total of 19 shots. Two were goals. None of them happened in the first half but one did happen right out of the gates for the Rams as junior forward Caitlin Kelly scored her fourth goal of the year just a little more than a minute and a half into the start of the second half. Her goal was unassisted.

“I just have the confidence and a great team behind me that will always support me no matter what,” Murphy said.

Sophomore goalkeeper Maddie Murphy’s day at goal would be a busy one as she would end up with 12 saves. However, Murphy allowed two goals. West Chester as a team had 14 shots on goal. Murphy now has over 100 saves in her career.

“I just think I’ve worked really hard and I always have teammates that can challenge me and push me to play to the best of my ability,” Murphy said.

For nearly 18 minutes after Kelly’s goal the game remained one to zip until senior midfielder/forward Kaitlin Hatch of West Chester scored her seventh of the year. Junior midfielder Katie Thompson assisted on the goal. Hatch and Thompson both scored goals in the first meeting this season between The Rock and the Rams. Hatch recorded a game-leading six shots in the contest.

In the game’s final six minutes The Green and White had two penalty corners with only one of those leading to a shot. The shot by senior midfielder Hannah Downing in the final penalty corner went wide. Unfortunately, The Rock had only one other shot in the final six minutes which was blocked by senior goalkeeper Marissa Elizardo. Freshman midfielder/forward Lauren Marks recorded the lone shot.

Entering the game, West Chester held a six win one loss record and had scored 27 goals on the year. Their lone loss came to Stonehill College who is tied with West Chester for the number one ranking in Division II by the NFHCA Poll. Two of the Rams’s wins this year came by scores of 8-3 against Bentley University and 7-0 against IUP. West Chester earlier in the year defeated East Stroudsburg, who is ranked third in the nation currently, and Millersville, who is ranked seventh in the nation currently. Coming into the game SRU was in for a challenge.

“We just tried to work really hard in practice and we always want to push ourselves to be our best,” Murphy said of the team’s preparation for the top-ranked squad.

The Green and White managed to record just five shots with one shot on goal. Marks recorded that lone shot on goal. The Rams recorded 15 penalty corners to SRU’s six penalty corners.

Slippery Rock’s record fell to five wins and five losses. Their record falls to zero wins and two losses in PSAC play. West Chester’s overall record improves to seven wins and one loss with a two win zero loss record in PSAC play.

The Rock will be looking for its first win in PSAC play when they take on the Mansfield University Mountaineers. The Mountaineers have a five win five loss record overall and have a one win one loss record in PSAC play. Their win in PSAC play came by a score of five to nothing against the Mercyhurst University Lakers. The game will be on Oct. 9th at Mihalik-Thompson Field at 4:00 p.m.