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No. 1 ranked Marauders continue their dominance

Field hockey is riding high to begin the season as they will have a tough stretch of games coming up against West Chester and Shippensburg. Photo courtesy of MU Athletics.

Brian Markley
Associate Sports Editor

There is something special brewing at Chryst Field.

The No. 1 nationally ranked Millersville field hockey team looked to continue their special run over the weekend with two matches, one PSAC conference match against Mercyhurst and the other against Slippery Rock.

The Marauders travelled to Mercyhurst on Friday, September 27th to take on the Lakers. The Marauders struck first, with a goal from their first penalty corner of the game. A precise set of passes led to junior forward Emma Boutcher netting the first goal for the Marauders. Millersville would strike again three minutes later through sophomore midfielder Hannah Brown, doubling the Marauder lead.

Millersville’s defense was tested in the second quarter, but they were able to keep the Lakers off the board. Millersville would tally another goal in the third quarter through sophomore forward Asia Weaver. Weaver received the ball directly from the inserter and put away her first goal of the season. 

Junior midfielder Annabelle Tierney found the back of the cage off a rebound from the Mercyhurst goalie to give the Marauders a 4-0 lead. Millersville threatened again on a breakaway which would lead to a corner. Sophomore midfielder Georgia Werkiser would redirect a shot into the cage from freshman forward Kate Strickland to give the Marauders a commanding 5-0 lead.

Sophomore defender Ashlynn Lennon would seal the deal with a goal coming off of a late penalty corner. 

Millersville dominated the game from beginning to end, out shooting Mercyhurst 16-3. The Marauders were efficient when it came to their penalty corners, with a conversion rate of 50% (5/10), which is where a majority of their goals came from.

Six different Marauders found the back of the cage against Mercyhurst and they improve to 18-4 in the series against the Lakers.  

The Marauders moved to 7-0 on the season and 2-0 in conference play with their win against Mercyhurst.

The Marauders would take on Slippery Rock just two days after their win against Mercyhurst.

Multiple penalty corners led to the Marauders first goal 11 minutes into the game from senior forward Erica Tarsi. Millersville was awarded eight penalty corners in the last five minutes of the first quarter, which resulted in a worn-out Slippery Rock defense.

Tarsi would then add an assist in the second quarter, setting up senior midfielder Alexis Gazzio who found the back of the cage and doubled the Marauder lead. 

Things got out of hand in the third quarter, where Millersville had an offensive explosion. Boutcher put in two goals within three minutes of each other, one being assisted again by Tarsi. Brown gave the Marauders a 5-0 lead after a great solo effort that led to yet another Marauder goal.

Junior defender Brooke Troutman scored the fourth goal of the third quarter off of Millersville’s 20th corner of the game, as she scored off of the back of the pads of the Slippery Rock goalie. Boutcher tallied an assist on the goal that gave the Marauders a dominating 6-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Millersville would score another goal a minute into the fourth quarter through senior forward Kyra Brakefield. Slippery Rock would spoil the shutout with a goal in the fourth quarter, but the match was over already decided after the Marauders domination in the third quarter.

For the second time on the weekend, six different Marauders contributed to the scoring outburst that occurred over the span of the game, marking back-to-back games where six different Marauders contributed. 

“I think are players are all very versatile and I am happy to see some of them being in situations to finish and contribute on the attacking side.” Said Marauders coach Shelly Behrens. 

Millersville recorded 27 shots on the Slippery Rock keeper, marking their highest shot total in a single game this season. The Marauders have now won 12 straight against Slippery Rock. 

Millersville remained perfect after their weekend road trip, remaining undefeated on the season.

“Two good wins on this road trip and the key has been perseverance. I’m proud of how the team has played on the road.” Said coach Behrens

The Marauders and coach Behrens are looking forward to returning home, where they play number two ranked and PSAC rivals West Chester.

“We are excited to be back at home and looking forward to another great match with a PSAC opponent. Overall, I am really proud of our team for a great September and great first half of the season,” Behrens said.

Millersville has been atop the national ranks for three weeks now, and they’ll put their perfect season and their number one ranking on the line against West Chester. Make sure to get out and support this special run that the Marauders are on.