For the second game in a row, the Slippery Rock University field hockey team (3-10, 0-5 in PSAC) frightened a nationally ranked opponent as it traveled to No. 10 Mansfield University (10-3, 4-1) Wednesday afternoon and fell in a shootout, 1-0.
As Slippery Rock’s offense struggled to generate a chance, the team’s defensive unit was the story of the rainy day, specifically sophomore goalie Hannah Nurse, who made a career high of 12 saves.
Before The Rock’s Addy Ross, a freshman forward, registered the team’s first shot with two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Jordan Barnes and company fended off 17 Mountie shots and 11 penalty corners in regulation.
In the first overtime period, SRU’s Jessie Trube, a sophomore forward, traversed the field into Mansfield territory and got off a shot that was barely denied by the hosts’ Brittany Ryan.
Following two Mansfield shots, one of which was saved by Nurse and the other sailing wide right, junior forward Kayla Ulrich was almost able to take advantage of Ryan coming out of her net to play a ball that was redirected to the Rock’s second-leading scorer. The shot was pushed just wide though.
Five second overtime saves by Nurse later, the teams headed to a shootout with each team allowed five shots.
While Trube made The Rock’s first, the team was pushed to the brink as Mansfield’s Mikaila Chakon and Larissa Motts both connected. The Mounties would miss each of their next three chances, while freshman midfielder Lacy Bayley gave Ulrich a shot to put the game away, a shot that was kept out. Mansfield’s Christie Buyer sealed the game two Mountie shots later.
The win was the Mounties second against The Rock this season, the first having been a 2-1 fourth-quarter comeback, and their fifth in a row against SRU. Four of those Slippery Rock losses came by only one score, however. The matchup was The Rock’s seventh against a ranked opponent this year.
Slippery Rock will close out a two-game road swing Saturday, when it visits No. 3 Millersville for a noon matchup.