Slippery Rock women’s field hockey took down Maryville University (Mo.) 3-2 in a shootout last Saturday to move to 1-1.
The Rock fell behind early after Maryville scored just over a minute and a half into the game. The away team capitalized on the early strike as well, scoring again just two minutes later to take a very early 2-0 lead.
SRU locked it down from there. Maryville tallied 17 other shots in the game, but none found the back of the net.
Nearing the midway point of the second period, Gianna Conti sank a shot to bring the game within one. In the third period, the locked-in junior forward scored again to tie it. That would mark the final score of regulation.
The Rock defense continued their dominance into overtime, throwing a shutout in the first period, although the offense couldn’t take the lead. The second overtime period came around and yet again, there were no scores.
SRU and Maryville headed to a shootout. Bailee Christman and Lesli Colliver made their stroke-off attempts to ensure a Rock victory. Christman and Hilary Hoffman both tallied an assist in the matchup.
Slippery Rock has now started out 1-1 in three straight seasons, but they haven’t been able to maintain the early .500 record.
The past few years have seen Rock Field Hockey somewhat in limbo. They finished both years prior with seven wins, just below .500.
Christman was last year’s leading scorer. The return of the junior, along with Colliver and Erin Roland who combined for 10 goals last year, will be big for the squad looking to improve on last year’s 7-10 record.
Starting goalie Grace Burker is also back to anchor the defense. The junior started all 17 games last year and is climbing the SRU school ranks as she sits at fourth in program history in saves and seventh in goalie wins with the rest of this season and her senior year to go.
SRU has five seniors this year, up from last year’s three. Returning much of 2022’s core should be an advantage for head coach Rayell Wallace as The White and Green move forward.
The Rock has four more games on their way to starting PSAC play. They open against the conference at home vs. West Chester University on September 23.
Their next matchup takes place this Friday at home against Frostburg State University (Md.). SRU will hope to replicate thier 2022 home game vs. Frostburg where The Rock came out on top 4-3 in overtime.