The Slippery Rock University field hockey team dropped its season opener on the road to American International College, 2-1, on Saturday despite holding key statistical advantages in every category besides the score.
The Rock (0-1) dominated the shot totals—including shots on goal—and penalty corner opportunities, yet an efficient Yellow Jackets’ offensive performance and strong goaltending from Jackets’ goalie Jessica Stone led to a non-conference loss for SRU.
The Yellow Jackets (1-0) made the most of their offensive chances, opening the scoring in the second quarter.
Wynona Shaw opened the scoring in the 17th minute for AIC off an assist from teammate Georgia Barnes. Less than 10 minutes later, the Yellow Jackets scored the eventual game winner when Sophie Shulpen struck a well placed ball past Rock junior goalie Maddie Murphy to push the lead to two.
Trailing 2-0 at the half, SRU would not get on the board until early in the fourth quarter. A goal from junior forward Kayla Ulrich, assisted by junior forward Courtney Page, cut the deficit to one, but SRU was able to strike again.
The Yellow Jackets weathered a late Rock surge, which included four corner penalties and two shots from sophomore forward Jessie Trube.
Despite holding a 17 to four shot advantage, including a six to two advantage of shots on goal, and a 12 to two penalty corner advantage, SRU was unable make the most of its opportunities and ultimately fell to the Yellow Jackets.
Scoring two goals on two shots on goal, AIC’s efficiency was the deciding factor in the match’s outcome.
SRU posted two quarters of at least five shot attempts, the first and fourth quarters, led by Trube’s five attempts and Page’s four.
Ulrich’s lone goal against the Yellow Jackets was the 20th of her career, which is good for a fourth place tie in program history with former Rock athletes Christine Peuplie and Lindsay Brown.
Sitting at 44 points in her just over two year career, Ulrich already sits at fifth in program history.
With an encouraging showing despite the less than ideal result, SRU will look to continue a run of strong play against Frostburg State University on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s home opener will be the last non-conference match up before Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play kicks off against Kutztown University on Friday.