Nov. 20, 2010


By John Packett
Special to

Will this finally be the year that Messiah finally wins a Division III field hockey national championship?

Coach Jan Trapp and her troops hope so.

The Falcons reached their second straight title game and sixth in the past 10 years with a 4-0 whipping of Ursinus Saturday in NCAA semifinal play at Christopher Newport Universitys Captains Field.

Messiah (19-2) scored all of its goals in the second half, en route to duplicating its win over the Bears (20-2) in last years semifinal. The Falcons dominated the run of the play from the outset but came up empty until the 38th minute.

Almost any team, if you can get into their defense, youve got a real good chance of scoring,” said Trapp.

I thought they played within themselves. They played, not only with a lot of passion, but they were in control of their emotions today. That really helps even more on defense. When they were under pressure they came up big. Im so proud of them.”

Despite applying all kinds of pressure in the opening half, Messiah was unable to score. The Falcons even had a penalty stroke, but couldnt convert. Leann Carroll took the shot for Messiah, and her low attempt to the left was steered way by goalkeeper LauraLee Lightwood-Mater at 8:51.

Lightwood-Mater also blocked attempts by Julie Barton and Brooke Sands in the first 20 minutes. She had nine saves in the first half alone and finished with 16.

It took Ursinus 19 minutes before they could mount an attack in Messiahs circle. When Messiah was forced to play a man down in the latter part of the half because of a yellow card to Kourtney Ehly, the Bears finally began to force the issue in the Falcons end.

Ursinus lost one of its best defenders, Nicole Hanby, to a knee injury with five minutes left in the opening half. Hanby had to be helped off the field and couldnt return.

Less than three minutes into the second half, Messiahs pressure resulted in its first goal.

Amber Good played a penalty corner into the middle, where Barton fired a shot through traffic from about 16 yards that eluded Lightwood-Mater.

Ursinus defense is great and they played us very well in the first half, said Barton. We were having trouble finishing some of our opportunities. I think that let us relax a little and play our game, once we got that first goal.”

The Bears had a golden opportunity to draw even when Ursinus was awarded a penalty stroke for interference. But Michelle Wimmers low shot to the left was blocked by goalkeeper Kayleigh Stewart 51/2 minutes into the second stanza.

That was big,” said Ursinus coach Laura Moliken. I think we had to have that stroke. We had a breakaway later in the second half, but we had a foul from behind. Instead of upgrading [to penalty stroke], we ended up with a corner. I think that was game-changing, too.”

Messiah made it 2-0 with just under 12 minutes to go in the game when Kilee Rosenberry snuck a shot inside the far post off an assist from Barton during a scrum in front of the net.

Three minutes later, Carroll got another chance on a penalty stroke, and this time the sophomore midfielder lifted a shot over Lightwood-Mater into the cage for a three-goal advantage.

Ehly added the final punctuation mark to Messiahs victory with a goal 20.1 seconds from the end.

This was the final game on the bench for Moliken, who will step aside after 12 seasons and become full-time athletic director at the school. Moliken finished with a record of 182-70.