Millersville Field Hockey reaches final four

Tyler Helsabeck

Staff Writer

As if the 2016 wasn’t a roller coaster season already, it took a thrilling comeback for the Marauders to complete their final weekend of the season before NCAA tournament play. And although the NCAA tournament was only a mere possibility a week ago, it is now a definite for Millersville as the Marauders have been selected as the top seed in the NCAA tournament.

The PSAC tournament changed everything for Millersville. The Marauders entered the tournament unsure of whether it would be their final games of the season. They knew they had to play the No. 8 Bloomsburg Huskies, and after that, it only got more challenging as a possible rematch against the top teams in the country awaited Millersville, potentially.

They did in fact end out facing the top teams in the country. Millersville took on both the No.1 and No. 2 teams, and they didn’t just play them, they beat them, and the Marauders are now PSAC champions for the first time since 2013.

Millersville did not have an easy path, but it did not matter. This team looked like a different team than the regular season Marauder squad that lost to ESU and Ship earlier this year.

The Marauders completed their tournament run with a stunning comeback win at Whitenight Field in East Stroudsburg Sunday to down No. 2 Shippensburg 2-1 to win the PSAC Championship merely two days after beating No. 1 East Stroudsburg.

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The championship game was truly a team effort. Margaret Thorwart, who won PSAC Tournament MVP, scored the game-winning goal on a penalty stroke with 7:13 remaining, sending the shot into the top right corner past the nation’s leader in save percentage and goals against average, Ally Mooney.

“I remember (Millersville alum Brittany Troutman) telling me if you’re going to be one for three, make that one a good one,” Thorwart said after the game.

Thorwart may have been 0-for-2 on strokes before this game, but she certainly made her third one count in front of a divided and vocal crowd.

“I was just trying to do my job,” said Thorwart, who scored her seventh goal of the season.

Thorwart was given the opportunity by her teammate Taylor Parker, who had drawn the corner the play before. Aliza Mizak stole the ball off an ill-advised Shippensburg pass within the Millersville circle, leading to a corner.

The first corner attempt generated another corner, and Millersville made good on the second. Carly Castle took the corner and passed to Olivia Hershey. Hershey hit Thorwart with a pass, and Thorwart sent it to Parker on the right wing. Mooney had drawn 10 yards away from the goal and tripped Parker, who was dribbling toward the right post, resulting in the stroke.”I knew (Thorwart) had it,” said Behrens, who has now guided Millersville to two PSAC titles in the past four years. The PSAC title win is the fourth

“I knew (Thorwart) had it,” said Behrens, who has now guided Millersville to two PSAC titles in the past four years. The PSAC title win is the fourth all time for Millersville. Sunday was Millersville fifth consecutive trip to the conference championship game.Thorwart and Parker weren’t the only heroes in the comeback win. For much of the game Millersville trailed until Arianna Grays deflected a shot from Hershey.

Thorwart and Parker weren’t the only heroes in the comeback win. For much of the game Millersville trailed until Arianna Grays deflected a shot from Hershey.

“I was so excited,” said Grays. “We just kept pushing and pushing.”

Grays’ goal came with less than 20 minutes remaining. The Marauders had trailed for the previous 47 minutes. “They made the changes I asked them to make,” said Behrens of her team. “That’s what determination, selflessness, and hard-work look like.”

“They made the changes I asked them to make,” said Behrens of her team. “That’s what determination, selflessness, and hard-work look like.”After the teams combined for four shots and three corners in the first half, Millersville’s offensive aggression made the difference in the second. The marauders out-shot the Raiders 6-3 in the second period and held a 5-3 advantage in corners. Millersville placed four shots on goal while holding Shippensburg to just one.

After the teams combined for four shots and three corners in the first half, Millersville’s offensive aggression made the difference in the second. The marauders out-shot the Raiders 6-3 in the second period and held a 5-3 advantage in corners. Millersville placed four shots on goal while holding Shippensburg to just one.In the PSAC semifinal only two days earlier, Millersville won in quite a different fashion. Aliza Mizak scored only 81 seconds into the game in what would be the only goal in the Marauders upset over ESU.

In the PSAC semifinal only two days earlier, Millersville won in quite a different fashion. Aliza Mizak scored only 81 seconds into the game in what would be the only goal in the Marauders upset over ESU. East Stroudsburg attempted only one shot on goal all game, much better for Millersville than previous game between the two schools, where the Warriors had five shots on goal.

East Stroudsburg attempted only one shot on goal all game, much better for Millersville than previous game between the two schools, where the Warriors had five shots on goal. Millersville went 0-2 against these two schools in the regular season and 2-0 against them in the postseason. But the Marauders work is not done yet. Millersville will take on the winner of ESU and Ship in the final four. The game will take place in Stonehill, Massachusetts on Nov. 18.

Millersville went 0-2 against these two schools in the regular season and 2-0 against them in the postseason. But the Marauders work is not done yet. Millersville will take on the winner of ESU and Ship in the final four. The game will take place in Stonehill, Massachusetts on Nov. 18.