By John Reed
An eight-day break is an unusually long time between contests.
That lengthy stretch is the allotted time the ESU field hockey team must stew after their tough loss to West Chester on Friday, October 3 that saw them outscored early and often to the tune of 6-1.
Despite getting roughed up by the Rams — who own the most potent offense in the PSAC — the Warriors still boast some extraordinary offensive firepower.
They are currently third in the conference in scoring average at nearly four goals per game.
The extended layoff will give the Warriors plenty of time to prepare for a Bloomsburg team that comes to town on October 11 for Parents Day.
This is an important inter-conference clash that carries weight in the PSAC standings because only one game separates the two squads.
The Warriors (4-5, 3-3) are looking to make a jump into the upper echelon and be in the conversation as one of the best teams in the league with the likes of Millersville, Shippensburg, and West Chester.
The Huskies (3-5, 2-4) will look to play spoiler and leap frog ESU in the conference.
Recent history is on the side of the Warriors because the 2013 schedule saw the home team dominate each game — doubling up on the visitors.
ESU has to be confident heading into this contest because of junior Ally Roth’s goal-scoring ability. Roth notched three out of the seven goals that the Warriors tallied against Bloomsburg in 2013.
Roth currently leads the PSAC in total points (27) and goals (12) through nine games.
At her torrid pace of over a goal a game, she has an opportunity to hit double-digit goals during the second half of the season which would easily give her over 20 goals scored on the year.
The Huskies will have to be careful because if they put too much emphasis on defending Roth, then that will open the door for ESU senior Jessica Lawville.
She is second on the team and tied for third in the PSAC in goals scored, with nine goals over nine contests.
Lawville is not only scoring in bunches, but she is doing so in clutch situations as well. Through the first nine games, she has two game-winners.
Both teams enter this contest with suspect defenses. The Warriors are giving up 2.56 goals per game, but the number is exaggerated due to their recent performance against West Chester.
The Huskies are allowing 2.25 tallies a game and — on the surface — they look like the better defensive team.
With the Warriors out to prove their mettle and the Huskies coming off of a solid 4-3 victory, this game has the potential to be a high-scoring affair.
Here’s the prediction: Roth scores early to break things open and Lawville scores late to seal a Warrior victory and move ESU into fourth place in the PSAC.
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