The No. 4 Millersville Marauders improved to 3-0 on Wednesday, taking down No. 1 Shippensburg, 1-0. The victory, albeit an impressive one, is not as surprising as you may think.
Heading into the 2019 DII field hockey season, we saw the Marauders as a threat to the Raiders run of three-straight championships. They proved that they can contend with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference heavyweights Wednesday. Let's take a quick look at how the game went down.
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The Millersville defense is as stingy as it comes
Three games into the 2019 field hockey season and Millersville is perfect. Quite literally, mind you. Through three games, the Marauders defense has not allowed a goal. That includes an opening night 4-0 win over No. 5 Pace and Wednesday's 1-0 shutout of No. 1 Shippensburg.
Autumn Peters has started all three games in net and thus far, has made ten saves on 20 shots faced. Seven of those saves came against a Raiders offense that returns plenty of firepower from the team that finished second in DII scoring last year at 3.43 goals per game. She came up big when it mattered most, defending four shots in the final quarter.
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The Marauders get a much-need win over their PSAC rival
Millersville showed well in its first two games, but the Marauders had the advantage of playing on their home turf. This was Millersville's first road game of the season, and the squad showed well.
The Raiders are 23-6 at home over the last three seasons of their run, so it's no easy place to go and earn a victory. Perhaps more importantly, the Marauders picked up their first win against Shippensburg since 2015, that one a 1-0 victory as well. Last year, Shippensburg lost its home opener to East Stroudsburg. Three months later the two were playing for a national championship in Pittsburgh. Is this foreshadowing? Maybe, maybe not, but it's a tremendous victory for the Marauders.
Freshman impact for Millersville
This is a Millersville team that returned four of its top five goal scorers from the 2018 field hockey season. And despite that arsenal of weapons at hand and an abundance a rising talent in the sophomore class, it was a freshman who won the day.
Kate Strickland picked a good time for the first goal of her Millersville career. After a scoreless first half, senior Erica Tarsi started an assault on Shippensburg's cage and Strickland was able to push it past Magan Lay for the go-ahead — and lone — goal of the day. If there's one more Marauder to watch out for on this offense, Millersville may be even stronger than expected.