SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. – In a highly-anticipated tilt between the No. 1 overall teams in the country in NCAA Divisions II and III, DIII Messiah field hockey proved that divisional lines are just a technicality, thoroughly dominating the top-ranked and defending DII national champion Shippensburg on the road 4-0.
The Falcons' win improves their record to 12-0. Messiah outshot Shippensburg 21-4 in the game and earned 13 penalty corners. The Raiders only had two.
Falcons control right from the start
After four unsuccessful shots in the opening 15 minutes, Kristin Donohue found Carissa Gehman in front of the cage for the first goal of the game at the 17:41 mark. Shippensburg got a few chances to even the score in the following minutes, but Shelby Landes turned aside one attempt and another Raider shot was blocked by the Falcon defense.
Six minutes before halftime, the Falcons were knocking on the door again. This time, it was Karalyn Schmidt who found the back of the cage for her first goal of the season, pushing the Messiah advantage to 2-0.
Gehman cannot be stopped
Gehman scored twice more in the second-half, continuing her scalding-hot October as the senior notched her third hat trick of the season and seventh of her historic career. In three games this month, she has tallied 10 goals and 21 points on 37 shots, with the game-winning goal in all three. She now has 95 career goals (16 behind program record 111 held by current assistant coach Danae (Chambers) Hollenbach ('05) and 206 career points (20 behind Aftan Fisher '07 for second-place all-time in the Messiah record books).
Revenge is sweet
The victory for Messiah avenged its only loss from 2016, when it lost 1-0 in overtime at home to Shippensburg in the first game of last season. The previous year saw the same result.
Messiah has yet to lose since last year's season opener, now riding a 34-game winning streak, the longest active streak in all of NCAA field hockey.