The Rock field hockey team played their first two games of the season on Thursday and Sunday. They split the two games, losing the first against Lindenwood University and pulling out a win against Queen’s University.
“It was great for us to get on the field again and experience a full, actual game so it was just exciting and I’m happy we were able to do it,” head coach Rayall Heistand said.
The Green and White opened their season at home with Heistand’s debut game, dropping it 3-1. The Rock played a solid first quarter as they were able to hold off Lindenwood’s attack. After the first quarter, the game was tied at 0-0 still, and Slippery Rock’s lone shot came from Jessie Trube.
The second quarter was a faster pace for both teams, and they each were able to give themselves more scoring opportunities. The Rock went on the attack early in the quarter, and in a matter of only 34 seconds, they took four shots on goal. Unfortunately, the team was unable to beat Lidenwood goalkeeper, Leah Brozovich, who recorded four saves. It was not until nine minutes into the second quarter that the tie was broken. Pauline Terwindt put the ball in the back of the net to give the advantage to Lidenwood. The Rock would get one more scoring opportunity when Trube took a shot seconds before the end of the period, but it was wide of the net.
“I think no matter win or lose, or any type of game you have, you can always learn from the game that was played whether it be positive or negatives that come out of it,” Heistand said. “We improved upon the scrimmages we had, so I’m happy about that, but we also need to be more consistent in general.”
The second half was opened up with yet another shot from Trube, who for the third time in the game had her shot go wide. Lindenwood took advantage of the miss and Makenna Rugani was able to score another goal only a few minutes later. This was Rugani’s first goal of the season and what would be the game-winning goal. The Rock was able to score in the third quarter, with a goal from Jordan Isner with about six minutes left in the quarter.
“We’re there in the offensive game, and I said that at halftime, we just need to finish and staying in the moment and slowing it down that will help us,” Heistand said.
Rugani put the final nail in the coffin when she tallied her second goal of the game late in the fourth quarter. And just like that, The Rock found themselves in the loss column for the first time in the 2021 season.
The Rock played another game against Queen’s University on Sunday. The game finally finished for The Rock like how Heistand mentioned earlier. Queen’s started out slow for the Green and White and allowed the first goal of the game.
Gabe Lechner was able to break the game open just ten minutes in when she beat Burker on an assist from Molly Walter. In the first quarter, Queen’s outshot The Rock 6-2, but by the second quarter, the game was much more even.
The quarter was dominated by Slippery Rock up until there was about a minute and a half left in the period. In that final 90 seconds, Queen’s took all three of their shots they recorded in that period and Burker was able to fend them off to keep the game at 1-0 entering the half.
The Rock took over in the second half and was on offense more than they were in the first half. The Rock finally broke through when Trube was able to score her first goal of the season. Trube’s goal tied it up at one, and after the goal, The Rock continued to stay on the attack. Trube took another shot that went just wide of the net with a minute left in the quarter and then a few seconds later Bailee Christman took a shot that was stopped by Queen’s goalkeeper Avian Thompson.
The game-winning goal was scored just four minutes into the final quarter. The goal came from Trube, which was her second goal in the half. Trube was finally able to finish in the second game after taking multiple shots that were going just wide of the net. After the goal, The Rock did not allow another shot in the game and was able to pull out their first win of the season. The win marked Heistand’s first career win at Slippery Rock.
The Rock will return to action this Saturday, Sept. 11, and will finish out their homestand against Belmont Abbey College. The Rock will look to start their season above .500 after their first three games of the season. They have not done so since 2018 when they opened up 3-0.