The Slippery Rock University field hockey team (8-6) increased its winning streak to four games with a pair of conference wins over Kutztown University (6-7) and Bloomsburg University (4-8) this past Friday and Wednesday. SRU defeated Kutztown 2-0, and also beat Bloomsburg 2-1 in overtime.
The Rock now has eight wins for the season, which is tied for the fourth most in their history. Their four game winning streak is their longest winning streak since 1998, which is also the last year they posted a winning record. SRU needs two more wins to clinch a winning record this season.
Despite disadvantages in shots (9-7) and penalty corners (12-3), SRU got their second shutout of the season last Saturday over Kutztown. The offensive attack was led by senior forward Allison Shade, who recorded two shots, including one that found the back of the net for the first goal of the game late in the first half. It was Shade’s second goal on the season.
Head coach Julie Swiney likes the way Shade has been playing recently.
“Allison has been playing with confidence offensively and defensively which is creating opportunities for her to score,” Swiney said.
SRU sophomore forward Megan McKay capped off the scoring in the 49th minute by scoring her first goal of the season, which gave the Green and White a 2-0 advantage.
The Rock’s defense led the way once again in front of junior goalie Carlee DuMars, who made four saves in the win.
Coming into Wednesday’s battle with Bloomsburg, the Rock had won only two of the previous 40 meetings between the two schools. That trend would switch, however, as SRU, led by Shade once again, won an overtime contest.
The Rock was outshot 14-3 for the game, but two of those shots, both by Shade, beat the Bloomsburg goalie.
Bloomsburg opened up the scoring in the 19th minute to take a 1-0 lead. Shade evened the score with less than five minutes left in the first half with her first goal of the game and third of the season. Sophomore midfielder Renee Rosenblum picked up the assist on the play.
The score remained tied 1-1 for the rest of the first half and all of the second half. In the 79th minute of play, Shade scored her second goal of the game on a breakaway, assisted by senior midfielder Kaili Simmons, to win it for the Rock.
Despite her heroics, Shade deflected most of the praise to the rest of the team.
“Overall, I feel this win was a team effort and this group of girls is committed to taking our season into post-season play,” Shade said. “All 25 of us want this more than anything, and that’s what it takes to be successful; commitment from all.”
A few more wins and the dream of post-season play may become a reality for this squad.
“They continue to take it one game at a time and focus on the mission of Rock hockey,” Swiney said. “This focus has allowed multiple players to contribute to our success.”
DuMars had three saves in the victory. SRU is now 3-1 in overtime games this season.
The Rock’s next game is in Indiana, Pennsylvania on Saturday against Indiana University of Pennsylvania (6-7), where they will try to extend their winning streak to five.
They haven’t won five games in a row since 1987.