Field hockey continues dominance of Landmark Conference

Nick Loschiavo November 3, 2016 0

The Blue Jays continued their success this weekend with a win against Juniata College. This is a huge win for head coach Brandy Michael, who in her first year, has gotten the team perfect through their conference schedule. In their 3-1 win, a goal was scored by three individual players. The Blue Jays now find themselves as the top seed in the Landmark tournament, and boy are they playing like one.

Success first found the team when first-year Olivia Beachley deposited her third goal of the season into the net, after being set up by senior Nicole Leaf. But the Blue Jays then found themselves tied up when Rachel Weigel of Juniata scored her second goal of the season. Beachley was proud to get her team on the board and found a something extra special about her goal.

“I was just trying to get open and away from the Juniata defense, and then I got the rebound shot off the goalie from Nicole Leaf and scored. It felt awesome to score the first goal of the game which gave us a lead,” Beachley said. “Also because I wanted to score for my mom’s birthday, and she came to watch.” After Juniata scored the defense took notice and only allowed one more shot for the rest of the game. The Blue Jays took offense to this goal and didn’t let up the rest of the way.

With the defense rolling the offense was put in a great position. Senior Addie Stang connected on her second goal of the season, while senior Charity Good stayed hot and made her ninth goal of the season. This was all the Jays needed as it was the final nail in the coffin for Juniata. Good was fired up after making her goal and knew the positive vibes resonated throughout the whole team.

“The game was tied 1-1 until Addie Stang scored her goal, giving us a slight lead. When I scored right after that, it felt like we were back in control. Scoring two goals that close together gave us momentum and confidence that we could win, and we were able to hold them the rest of the game,” Good said. “Everyone on the team has to do their part for us to win, and I was glad to be able to score a goal to help give us a little bit of cushion for the rest of the game.”

This win was huge for the Blue Jays. They never let their guard down and played relentlessly until the final seconds of the game. Juniata was outshot 19-6 by the Jays who had 15 penalty corners compared to the five the Eagles managed. With the win the Blue Jays eliminated Juniata from the Landmark playoffs. Good understood how big of a win this truly was. They had a game plan and stuck to it.

“Our plan heading into the game was to play hard, execute all of the little things we’ve been working on, play together and win. We knew that if we won, we would finish the regular season conference play undefeated, which was one of our goals. After winning yesterday, we were able to mark off that goal.”

The Blue Jays hosted the Landmark Conference semifinal after going undefeated in the regular season. On Wednesday, Goucher College came to Wolf Field to battle for a spot in the Landmark Conference Championship game on Saturday.

Goucher fought hard against the top-seeded Blue Jays, forcing a dramatic finish to decide the outcome. Junior Emma Christman made sure the Blue Jays did not have an early exit from the tournament, scoring twice in the 2-1 victory over the Gophers.

Christman’s first goal came in the first half at 23:29. Senior Allison McLamb knocked the ball in front of Goucher’s cage, and Christman was able to poke it into the back of the net for a 1-0 Etown lead.

The Blue Jays would remain up 1-0 into the second half. In the 58th minute, Goucher struck to tie the game at one and set up a dramatic ending.

Trying to avoid overtime, the Blue Jays were on all out attack in the waning minutes of the game. The Blue Jays earned a penalty corner as the clock expired with the ensuing corner acting as the final play of the game.

On that corner, junior Megan Eppley received the ball, passed it on to Leaf who fired a shot at the goal. Stang redirected the shot to Christman who was able to knock it in for the game winning goal.

Christman scored in the final 30 seconds of the game for the second time this season against the Gophers.

The Blue Jays will host Susquehanna University in Saturday’s Landmark Conference Championship game. The River Hawks defeated Catholic University in Wednesday’s other semifinal game at Catholic.

Etown defeated both Catholic and Susquehanna during the regular season.

 

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