Marauders look to rebound after a tough week

Freshman Melissa McCarthy tries taking the ball around a defender in a game earlier this year  Millersville fell to 4-4 overall after two tough losses this week
Freshman Melissa McCarthy tries taking the ball around a defender in a game earlier this year Millersville fell to 4-4 overall after two tough losses this week
It was a rough week for the Millersville University field hockey team as they faced some of the top teams in the PSAC.

They continue to hold on with no signs of letting go anytime soon.

Aside from losses to Shippensburg and Kutztown Universities, MU stands at number nine in the NFHCA Coaches Poll.

Saturday’s game away at Shippensburg was a tough defeat. The Lady Raiders, ranked number one in the PSAC, were ready to roll right over the number nine Marauders.

Millersville was able to hold their own for the majority of the first half, earning an offensive penalty corner 12:06 into the it.

MU’s defense was ready for anything, but Shippensburg was pounding toward the goal. Unfortunately, 22 minutes into the first half, the Lady Raiders finally found the goal cage.

Millersville held their hope going into half time with only a one goal deficit.

The Marauders were ready for action coming out into the second half.

Offensively, MU amped up the aggression, out-shooting Shippensburg 5-4 and earning seven corners compared to the Lady Raiders’ two.

While Millersville stood ready to attack the opposing goal, Shippensburg was able to get two more shots off that sealed the deal at a 0-3 Marauder loss.

Tuesday night, the Marauders arrived for the showdown against the Kutztown Golden Bears at Chryst Field.

The first half was a hard fought battle. MU’s defense held strong, stopping every goal-directed pass in its tracks.

Goalkeeper Sara Dickinson kept her eye on the ball as a penalty stroke was awarded to Kutztown before halftime.

The game went into halftime scoreless. It would still be anyone’s game.

After rallying at halftime, the Marauders and the Golden Bears turned up the heat as they fought to get on the scoreboard.

Finally, with only 21 minutes to go, freshman Lauri Blessing found a deflection and redirected the ball for a goal, putting MU ahead 1-0.

Kutztown was awarded another penalty stroke, sending it past the goalie and putting KU in the game 1-1.

Both teams were tired but too close to victory to give up. As the final minutes of the game ticked on, the Golden Bears dodged past the Marauder defenders for a shot on goal and a 2-1 victory.

Aside from their two tough losses this week, the Lady Marauders certainly have some celebration in order with their number nine ranking in the NFHCA Coaches Poll.

Shippensburg University sits at number one with Bloomsburg University (MU’s next opponent) at second and Kutztown University at numbers four.

The Marauders are among the “big dogs” of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

“I think everyone is excited about this season because we have a group of 22 girls who want to be here and know the game very well.We have learned to move together and push together towards a common goal,” explained forward Emily Woodland. “No one wants to be the laughing stock of the league, and we are now demanding the respect we are already starting to receive.”

With the best start to their season in eleven years, the 2009 MU field hockey team has a lot to be proud of.

Saturday the Marauders will travel to Bloomsburg with their intensity turned on full force as they try to conquer the Huskies.