No. 5 Kutztown University scored a goal early in the second overtime to stun No. 3 ESU field hockey 2-1 on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at Whitenight Field. It was the first loss of the season for the Warriors.
This was an epic battle between two nationally-ranked teams.
Their offense had the Warriors on their heels early in the game. The Golden Bears forced two penalty corners in the first quarter.
Kutztown’s effort was rewarded when KU senior midfielder Mackenzie Fuhrman scored the game’s first goal to put the Golden Bears ahead of the Warriors 1-0.
ESU would score the equalizer off of a penalty corner in the second quarter. Sophomore midfielder Hannah Barbush’s shot from halfway inside the circle found the back of the net and tied the game 1-1 at halftime.
Both teams had chances to score in the second half, but neither team was giving ground.
ESU’s best chance to take the lead came late in the third quarter on an attempt from freshman forward Maddie Kline’s shot which bounced off the goal post.
KU’s best chance to take the lead also came earlier in the quarter.
Golden Bears senior forward Kyra Wozniak’s shot went off the crossbar, so the score was still tied at the end of regulation.
The game went into overtime, but there was no score at the end of the first overtime.
ESU was then awarded a penalty corner early in the second overtime.
Fuhrman turned defense into offense by intercepting an ESU pass. She got the ball to Wozniak who was standing all alone at midfield.
An ESU defender rushed to stop Wozniak, but Wozniak kept attacking and fired a backhand shot that beat ESU senior goalkeeper Maddie Richie’s far side for the golden goal.
Nevertheless, both goalkeepers were outstanding for their respective teams.
Richie had three saves for ESU. Her counterpart Dotterweich also had three saves for Kutztown.
Warrior head coach Sandy Miller was philosophical after the game.
“Obviously, we wanted to win,” Miller said. “But sometimes, you learn more from your losses.”
Miller claimed that a tough game was what the team needed before beginning the PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) play.
“We knew that Kutztown was good. We’re No. 3. They’re No. 5. They had already beaten [defending national champion] Ship. So we were excited for it,” said Miller.
“We played them pretty evenly. We had a chance to win it. We got shots; we just didn’t capitalize.”
The head coach also offered praise for Kutztown’s game-winning goal.
“The shot that they put away with a reverse was phenomenal,” Miller said.
Former Warrior standout Morgan Firestine is now an assistant coach with Kutztown.
“We changed things up with our calls. But Morgan has done a good job for them,” Miller said.
Despite the loss, Miller remained optimistic about her team’s chances for the rest of the season.
“Didn’t want to lose, but I am pleased with our performance,” Miller said. “We will just keep going from here.”
ESU (8-1, 1-0) will play Mercyhurst (2-6, 0-1) at home this Saturday over family weekend.
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