Field Hockey Women Again Play Well In Close Loss

Clover Cooper is now the third EMU defender with three defensive saves on the season. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Clover Cooper is now the third EMU defender with three defensive saves on the season. (photo by Scott Eyre)

Despite another valiant effort, EMU's field hockey women couldn't break through in Saturday's road game at Virginia Wesleyan, dropping a tough 2-0 ODAC decision.

The Royals slide to 3-7 overall and 0-4 in the conference. Despite the lack of wins against ODAC teams, two of the games were tight losses and a third was a good showing against conference-leading Washington and Lee.

After the long bus ride to Virginia Beach to take on the Marlins, Eastern Mennonite started out aggressively. In just the third minute, Emily Price (Hampton, Va./Homeschool) and Lauren Hartzler (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central) fired back-to-back shots that were both saved. Price then took a penalty stroke, but VWU's Skye Swain made her third save in a seven-second stretch.

Virginia Wesleyan withstood the pressure from the Royals, and then finally made their own strike in the 16th minute. After a corner, Taylor Abraszek lofted a shot over keeper Kelsey Troyer (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) to give VWU a 1-0 lead.

The Royals made another flurry in the 22nd minute, but another three saves from Swain kept the women off the scoreboard.

The Marlins started to take over play by late in the half, and carried the momentum into the second 35 minutes. They added a score from Lindsy Smarrelli in the 50th minute to gain a little breathing room.

All said, VWU out-shot the Royals 25-11, including 17-3 in the second half, to hold on for the shutout.

Troyer had another stellar game in front of the cage, racking up 16 saves to tie her season high. It was also her seventh straight game with 10 or more saves. Clover Cooper (Barboursville, Va./Orange County) picked up a pair of defensive saves while Rachel Musselman (Denver, Pa./Cocalico) added one.

Price had five of EMU's shots, including four on goal. Mikayla Martin (Colorado Springs, Colo./Lewis Palmer) added three shots on target.

The Royals play one more on the road before a three-game homestand, heading to Bridgewater College on Tuesday. Game time in Bridgewater is at 6:00pm.