Millersville upsets Shippensburg for first PSAC title appearance since 1989
WEST CHESTER, Pa. -- One goal from Katelyn Zap was all that it took for No. 6 Millersville to defeat No. 1 Shippensburg 1-0 in the PSAC Semifinals on Friday.
Millersville (14-6) outshot the Red Raiders 11-2 and took five more corners. Zap's goal at the 2:52 mark was the fastest Marauders' score all season. Ashley Weber assisted on Zap's score and keeper Lauren Sotzin recorded her program record 10th save in a two-save effort. One of three saves came on a penalty shot save with only five minutes to play.
“This team continues to play fearless,” head coach Shelley Behrens said. “We approach every game the same and this was no different. It was a total team effort, and I am so proud of our girls and for Millersville field hockey.”
Shippensburg (17-2) only totaled two shots in the game and stayed in the game due to goalkeeper Ciarra Delost's seven saves. The shutout marks the first time the Red Raiders haven't scored since last season's national championship loss to West Chester. The loss also ends a 10 game-winning streak for Shippensburg.
The Marauders got on the board early when senior Ashley Weber received a pass in transition and took the ball down the right sideline. As Weber dribbled past a Red Raider defender she played a center pass from the baseline. Her pass found Katelyn Zap wide open in front of the goal. Zap's shot slid past Delost and into the back of the net, giving Millersville a 1-0 advantage. With her score, Zap took the team lead in goals with six goals on the season.
“It was just like practice, as soon as I saw the shot that I had I knew I needed to do my job and put it in the back of the cage,” Zap said. “It felt so good to beat Shippensburg and advance to the PSAC Championship game.”
Shippensburg had two penalty corners in the middle of the first half, but Sotzin and the defense were able to thwart each attempt by the Red Raiders.
Millersville also had more opportunities to score before the end of the half. The best chance came on a center pass by Samantha Ruane. Ruane's pass went through a crowded circle and to Champayne Hess' stick on the backside.
With Millersville leading 1-0 at the half, the Marauders also led 4-2 in shots and 6-2 in corners. Captain Maria Thompson had one message to her team at halftime, “We don't stop here, we keep attacking and try to get one more.”
Thompson and her defensive unit did not allow a Red Raiders' shot in the second half. Shippensburg controlled possession in the final frame, but most of that came in the middle of the field.
As soon as the buzzer rang, the team rushed the field and celebrated reaching its first PSAC Championship game since 1986 and only its second win against Shippensburg since 1999.
“This win is very special for our program and I am so happy for all of our hard work to payoff in a way that everyone else can see how good this team is,” Behrens said. “As great as this win is we have to turn right around and prepare for an even bigger game [Saturday].”