The Millersville women’s field hockey team won their sixth game in a row on Saturday, at home against Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Aliza Mizak, Courtney Weaver and Maci Langone all scored to give the Marauders a 3-1 victory in their PSAC opener, improving their record to 6-1 (1-0).
After only attempting one shot on goal in the second half, Mizak put matters into her own hands. The sophomore recovered the ball around the 10-yard line, crossed over two opponent defenders and slipped by a third in a jaw-dropping display of profound ball-handling. She finished the job after getting past the last defender, sending the ball into the back of the net, and the Marauders into a 1-0 lead.
“I just pulled left, pulled right, and shot on goal, just like we practice,” said Mizak.
The goal was just the start for Millersville, not even four minutes later Courtney Weaver scored her first goal of the season off a beautiful pass from Kathleen Bishop. Weaver received the pass in stride, and one-timed it into the back of the net.
“I kind of read her,” Weaver said of Bishop. “She put the ball exactly where I expected it.”
After only taking five shots in the first half, Millersville finished with 16 shots, including seven on goal. This has often been the case for Millersville; a slow start, followed by an offensive barrage of shots and goals. In the second half, the Marauders dominated time of possession, also forcing 12 corners in the victory.
Millersville’s final goal came from Maci Langone, assisted by Erica Tarsi. IUP scored their lone goal with 10 minutes remaining in the game. Amber Bailey was responsible, recovering a loose ball and sending her shot into the upper-right corner.
Marauder goal keeper Sam Rumler had a save in the win, and her personal record improved to 6-1. Millersville has now won the last 16 regular season home games, with their last home loss coming nearly two years ago, on Oct. 14, 2014. The Marauders have also only allowed two goals at home in five games.
“We’re pretty confident,” said Mizak when asked to project the rest of season. “But we still have some things to work on too.”
In other field hockey news, Sam Rumler was selected to the 2016-17 U.S.A. National Indoor Field Hockey team. The goalkeeper was the only player from division II to make the cut.
Rumler led the NCAA with a .316 GAA last season (the third highest GAA in NCAA history), and she currently ranks fourth in the country in the imperative stat. In 22 lifetime starts, she has shut out opponents in 14 of those games, building one of the strongest division II field hockey resumes ever. She has allowed only four goals in seven games in 2016 so far.
Head coach Shelly Behrens describes her as a hard worker, noting her work ethic and her good habits.
“We give a healthy dose of shots on a daily basis so our goalkeepers see a lot of shots, some realistic, some not, but that matters, I want them prepared for anything,” said Behrens on her goalie’s practice routine.
Rumler’s four goals allowed in 520 minutes are definitely a testimony to her practice routines paying off.
Rumler was a huge part of Millersville’s season last year, where the Marauders reached the NCAA quarterfinals.
“Sam is quiet, she cares so much, but is also quiet in her approach, she is toughest on herself for sure, but is well respected by her teammates,” said Behrens. “Of the eight seniors she is the calmest and the quietest. When she speaks, she has everyone’s attention.”