Elizabethtown College’s field hockey team played a close game against the Goucher College Gophers Wednesday, Nov. 2. After a long struggle in the second half, a last-minute goal saved Etown and earned them the second seed in the Saturday, Nov. 5 playoff game. Saturday, the Etown ladies played and won their championship game against Susquehanna University.
Wednesday’s game started slow in the first half with only a few shots taken by either team. Etown’s first point was made by junior Emma Christman with an assist from senior Allison McLamb.
Goucher caught up in the second half with a goal made by Lizzi Barminski. The pressure was on for the second half. Sophomore goalie Hannah Mack was put to the test blocking shot after shot from Goucher.
A back and forth game ensued. Mack blocked shots from Goucher, and Etown took shots on goal. Etown called a timeout and returned to the game determined.
Senior Nicole Leaf was a determined player throughout the game. In the first and second halves, Leaf played good offense and kept taking shots which challenged Goucher’s goalies. She continued to shoot in the last minutes of the game.
In the last minute of the game, Etown got a penalty corner. Junior Megan Eppley gained possession of the ball and passed to Leaf who took another shot on goal. The shot was redirected by senior Addie Stang, and Christman took the ball, scoring her second goal of the game.
With the victory over Goucher in the bag, Etown began preparing almost immediately for the championship game on Saturday. Susquehanna, the number three seed at the time, won their way into the championship on Saturday. Etown was 14-4 in the season and Susquehanna 15-4. Etown knew the competition would be fierce.
The game started with Susquehanna playing hard and fast. Etown decided to apply pressure on goal and made 22 shots on goal. McLamb, Christman and Leaf returned as strong offensive players.
Mack and sophomore Margo Donlin made saves in goal for the Blue Jays. Mack believes this partnership was a great asset in these last few victories.
“Margo and I started splitting time, which was an adjustment for us,” Mack said. “We handled it well, I think, and we’ve been playing better because of the change.”
The game went into its first overtime, and despite a yellow card, Etown kept Susquehanna off their backs until the field was equaled by a Susquehanna yellow card. Three shots and no goals later, the game went into a second overtime.
Finally, 87 minutes after the start of the game, Leaf made a goal on Susquehanna with an assist from Eppley. “Keeping composure and keeping possession” were the keys to success in this final game, Mack said. “Susquehanna was tough, and so composure was important.”
On Wednesday afternoon, the Blue Jays hosted Kenyon College in the NCAA Tournament first round. The Blue Jays jumped ahead 1-0 on senior Kelsey Detweiler’s goal in the first half.
In the second half, Kenyon got on the board to tie the game at one. The two teams went to overtime tied at one goal. In overtime, Kenyon scored in the first five minutes to earn the sudden-death victory and advance to the second round of the tournament.
The Blue Jays successful season ended with a 14-5 record, including a Landmark Conference Championship title.