Assoc. Sports Editor
The Marauders’ No. 2-ranked field hockey team went into Mihalik-Thompson Stadium on Saturday and treated it like their own laboratory, making the Rock look more like silly-putty in a 2-0 climax to their season-sweep.
In their second matchup this season, the Marauders (8-0) trumped Slippery Rock (3-7) in a tough head-to-head matchup filled with staunch defensive play. Unlike Millersville’s previous defeat of The Rock, 4-0, this weekend, they had their work cut out for them
Both goalies in the game, Millersville’s Lauren Sotzin and The Rock’s Carlee Dumars, accumulated four saves. Sotzin had the slight edge, thanks to the defense in front of her which allowed a season-low 8 corner kicks and 10 shots. The limited amount of pressure and stone-cold stick of Sotzin yielded her fourth shutout of the season.
On the offensive side of the field, Lauren Gerhart struck the first blow just under 9 minutes in, improving her team-leading shot percentage to .571. In what seemed like another blowout-to-be, Slippery Rock dropped the anchor on the Marauder’s offense and left them scoreless for the rest of the first half.
After Dumars blocked a try nearly 10 minutes into the second half, it looked like the one-score game was going to remain in reach by The Rock. Off of the rebound, though, one of Millersville’s high scorers, Katelyn Zapp, regained control and directed it into the back of the cage.
With the Marauders gaining traction and up 2-0, their defense carried the momentum all the way until the final buzzer, not allowing a shot to trickle past – until the last second, that is, where Sotzin slammed the door on The Rock’s last-ditched attempt and officially continued Millersville’s undefeated streak.
Now, with their conference record at 3-0, Millersville is trucking full-steam ahead with coach Shelley Behrens acting as their conductor. Behrens, who was named PSAC East Coach of the Year and Womensfieldhockey.com’s National Coach of the Year in 2012, has her team in an even more advantageous position than they were a year ago.
It’s hard to fathom what Behrens and her players have done to transform Millersville’s field hockey club, while it’s certainly clear, with their best ranking in Black and Gold history, that they are only focused on improving.
Their next test is up against No. 10 Mercyhurst, who is looking to let off some steam after a second-half downfall against Kutztown on Saturday. The matchup is slated for 4 p.m. on Oct. 9.