Behind its nation-leading defense, Millersville shut out LIU Post 1-0 Saturday afternoon to win the Division II field hockey championship game at Trager Stadium on Louisville’s campus.
“I am just so happy for these guys,” said Millersville head coach Shelly Behrens, who won a national title as a player at Old Dominion. “From where this program has come when I got here seven years ago until now, winning a national title, it’s really just unfathomable.”
After a scoreless first half, Millersville scored the game’s only goal at the 46:10 mark on a penalty corner. Sarah Bomberger sent a pass to Rachel Dickinson, who smashed a shot from just inside the circle. The shot was deflected by a LIU Post defender, and Olivia Hershey was able to redirect the ball into the net.
The Pioneers had several chances late in the game, including several penalty corners, but they were not able to convert due to the staunch Marauder defense and goalie play of Lauren Sotzin.
It marks the first women’s NCAA title for Millersville, having previously only won an NCAA title in men’s cross country in 1981.
Prior to Behrens arrival in Millersville, Pennsylvannia in 2007, the Marauders were coming off a 4-14 season and had not had a winning record in its previous 10 seasons. Millersville reached the national semifinals a season ago before finally reaching the promised land this year.
Statistically, LIU Post held an edge in most categories as they outshot Millersville 13-5 and had one more penalty corner (8-7). However, it marked the second consecutive year the Pioneers lost in the championship game, after falling to Shippensburg in overtime last year.
“I just told our kids to keep their heads up,” LIU Post head coach Raenee Savin said. “They should be proud of what they accomplished. Day in and day out they came in and did what they were told and prepared themselves to get to this point. Things just didn’t go our way today.”