Playing their third game in three days, one could understand how EMU's field hockey women could be a little tired. Instead, the Royals controlled the second half against Transylvania except for a critical two-minute span where the home team scored twice to hand the women a 3-2 loss on Tuesday.
The game wrapped up EMU's three-game Fall Break trip through Kentucky as well as their 2017 season. The Royals closed the year at 5-12 overall.
Transylvania dictated play over the first 35 minutes but goalie Kelsey Troyer (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) was in top form, making 12 saves in the first half alone. The Pioneers fired 21 shots in the frame, but could only manage one goal when Caroline Patrick hit the cage in the seventh minute just moments after a Troyer save.
The Royals came close to equalizing in the 20th minute when Madeline Mast (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) got the ball back after a corner, but a Transylvania defender saved her close range shot.
Eastern Mennonite came out a different team after the break and continued to get the ball into the circle. Senior Mikayla Martin (Colorado Springs, Colo./Lewis Palmer) just missed in the 41st minute, with another defensive save keeping her off the board.
Finally Lauren Hartzler (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central) broke through in the 43rd, scoring off a corner. Emily Augsburger (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) found her freshman teammate for her seventh goal of the year. Less than four minutes later, Hartzler did the dishing, assisting Emily Price (Hampton, Va./Homeschool) on a goal that put the Royals ahead, 2-1.
The teams went back and forth with attempts before the Pioneers capitalized on two set pieces. They equalized on a corner in the 65th minute, with Audrey Denham scoring the goal. Just 1:36 later, Taylor Insley got the ball back after inserting and scored to give Transylvania a 3-2 lead.
The Pioneers spent the final four minutes simply clogging up the defensive end of the field, forcing two off-target shots and committing six fouls to waste away the time.
EMU had a 13-5 shot advantage in the second half, although Transylvania held the edge for the game at 26-14. The home team also was up 13-7 in corners.
Troyer racked up 14 saves in the game to total 173 on the season. She ranked first among ODAC goalies in saves and still sixth with a solid .749 save percentage. Troyer also had double-digit saves in 12 games this year.
Augsburger and Price each had five of EMU's shots against Transylvania.