On Saturday, Sept. 24, the ESU Warriors field hockey team hosted their PSAC rival Kutztown Golden Bears at Whitenight field.
The game came highly anticipated as it was the first official PSAC meeting for the Warriors this season. With both teams coming into the game with winning records, fans of the Warriors (6-2) and the Golden Bears (4-2) filled the bleachers expecting a good game.
ESU started the game very much on the defensive side with much of the offensive pressure coming from the Golden Bears.
However, the Warriors were able to capitalize on what little offensive opportunities came to them when number 12, Emily Howell, scored in the 10th minute of the game with the assist coming from number 6, Ashley Chioda.
The Warriors’ defense was sharp, and they were able to take the one-goal lead into the halftime break.
Despite much of the offensive pressure coming from the Golden Bears, both goalkeepers took their sides into the half with three saves each.
This was a tale of two halves as ESU started the second half with a much different game plan. The Warriors started the second half strong out of the gate and were able to keep play in the Golden Bears’ defensive end.
The game was played at a high tempo until the clock was stopped with 19:37 left to tend to an injury to Kutztown’s number 00, Madison Stewart.
After several minutes of delay, the game would continue with a bloodied Stewart on the bench. She would not return to the game.
Though there was a several minute delay, the Warriors picked up right where they had left off and continued to put the pressure on the Golden Bears.
In the last ten minutes of the game, ESU started to lose their offensive shape. The game became a back-and-forth competition with Kutztown pushing to tie the game with a late equalizer.
However, the Warriors were able to put the game out of the Golden Bears’ reach with a goal from number 20, Desiraye Mack, with the assist again coming from Chioda.
With just four minutes left to play, the Warriors were able to take their 2-0 lead all the way to the end. Despite a late push by the Golden Bears, ESU’s goalkeeper did not have to make a second half save while Kutztown’s goalkeeper made two.
Each team had eight total shots in this game.
When asked what the win meant for the team and for the season, head coach Sandy Miller stated, “It’s a really important win.”
“When you’re the defending champs, everyone gets up for you. It’s huge. We want to get the W because now we’re going down to West Chester, and they’re tough. Getting the W was real important,” said Miller.
ESU’s next two games are away at West Chester and Mercyhurst.
Their next home game is Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. at Whitenight field.
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