The Elizabethtown College field hockey team continued their streak of knocking off nationally-ranked teams with a win over No. 13 Lynchburg this past Saturday.
The No. 14 Blue Jays entered into the ranking themselves for the first time since 2009 thanks to the first Penn Monto/NFHCA Division III National Coaches Poll of the 2012 season. After starting the season with a win over No. 10 Franklin & Marshall, the Jays fought hard for each win; five of their last six games were decided with two goals or less.
Sophomore Kendie Hudson said of the Jays’ ranking, “Being number 14 in the country is an accomplishment but it’s not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is being number one in the nation and winning the national championship. We are taking it one game at a time and we want to continue to keep putting wins on the board.”
This past Saturday’s game did just that with a win coming off the goals of sophomores Taylor Alwine and Andrea Keady. The Jays dominated early on with a corner at 5:28 from senior Casey Fletcher to Alwine for her first goal of the season. The Jays kept the pressure on throughout the first half, holding Lynchburg to only two shots in the first 17 minutes. In the next two minutes, Lynchburg earned three corners, but again the Jay’s defense prevailed, headed by seniors Sam Earle and goalie Lindy Hamp. Hamp kicked away one of the two shots taken during the corners. Hamp said, “Our defense has an incredible connection. We’re able to communicate and work together in the most efficient ways to keep the ball out of our circle. As a goalie, I can absolutely count on them.”
Etown kept the pressure and extended their lead to 2-0. Alwine carried the ball to the right corner and slammed a pass across the field. Keady was able to get her stick on the ball amidst the Lynchburg defense and deflect it past Lynchburggoalie Hannah Myers. Keady’s second goal of the season also gave Alwine her second assist of the season.
Etown’s defense would continue to play at the highest level, but Lynchburg was not going to remain scoreless throughout the game. At 28:04, one of the ten shots Lynchburg had on goal found its way into the left side of the cage just outside of Hamp’s reach.
The remainder of the game, although scoreless, was not uneventful. Lynchburg continued to pressure the Jays with a few corners in the second half. It was not until the last minute of the game that Lynchburg truly threatened to score.
Throughout the game the referee’s whistle were unheard by the players leading to an early Lynchburg penalty and in the last minute of the game sophomore Kaylee Werner received that same penalty, leaving Etown down a player. Lynchburg was ready to capitalize and pushed forward against the Jays. With seven seconds left, Lynchburg made one final desperation shot, where they were fouled as time expired. When a foul occurs within the circle as time expires, the shooting team is allowed a non-timed corner and can continue shooting until a goal is scored or the ball is cleared by the defense.
Lynchburg’s corner took less than 10 seconds to complete as the ball was passed to the left side where senior Nadine Yunginger sprung out to clear the ball and end the game. Yunginger said, “I knew I had to stop the ball and quick. They are a good team and we had to fight for every goal. It’s not surprising we had to fight to the last second to win. [Senior] Sam [Earle] was there the whole time motivating us and calming us down. We would not have been able to stop them without her leadership on defense.”
The Jays next competition will be Wednesday, Sept. 19 against King’s College at 4:30 pm.