Field Hockey controls Centennial

Strong Defense and timely scoring helps Mules stay undefeated in conference play

After starting the season with a disappointing record of 0-4, the Muhlenberg field hockey team has hit their stride. Winners of their previous three games, all of which were Centennial Conference contests, the women now find themselves 3-0 in conference play, which lands them in a tie with Johns Hopkins for second in the conference, only behind the 4-0 Ursinus Bears.

Coming off a shutout victory against the undefeated Franklin & Marshall Diplomats, 1-0, the squad came into their second of three straight conference games on Sept. 19 against the Haverford Fords. The Fords entered Scotty Wood Stadium boasting a 4-1 record. Muhlenberg was able to take command early and ride it until the end.

With 24 minutes gone in the first half Courtney Allen ‘20 took a penalty corner finding Morgan Tietz ‘21 who gained control and put one in the back of the goal to give the Mules a 1-0 lead. Tietz’s goal would prove to be the lone score as the team held Haverford to get the win and improve their record to 2-4.

After dropping their first four games, Jordan Segrave ‘20, the Mules goalkeeper who has already won one 2018 defensive player of the week award, praised her team as they flipped the script in preparation for conference play, the only games which have bearing on whether or not a team in the Centennial makes the playoffs.

“The first four games were non-conference and we weren’t clicking. Now, the team is starting to pick it up and we’re working harder. We may not have been showing it before, but it’s been a collective effort and we’re getting serious,” Segrave said.

With a few days rest, the Mules traveled to Dickinson College who came into the matchup with the Mules at a 2-5 clip overall. In the Centennial Conference thriller the Mules wasted no time to open up the scoring.

At the one minute and twenty-eight second mark, the ladies netted the first goal off the stick of captain Stephi Rydgren ‘19 assisted from Emily Davis ‘19.

It wouldn’t be until the second period when the Red Devils settled the score. The game would remain tied and extra time would be needed to put an end to the match. After two highly seven-on-seven overtime periods a penalty shootout was required.

The Red Devils and Mules went back and forth, but the Devils could not score once. Segrave made four clutch stops and Rydgren finally put an end to it all to give the Mules the 2-1 victory making for a fun filled ride home from Carlisle.

Rydgren is currently the team leader in goals (3) and points (6). Including the score at Dickinson, Rydgren is also responsible for the game winning goal against Franklin & Marshall.

“Team bonding, knowing where each other are on the field, and our energy have really been the main things that have really contributed to our recent success” Segrave said of why she thinks her squad has been so successful.

To keep fresh the Mules played an out of conference friendly on Friday Sept. 28, to take on the 9-1 and 11th ranked Montclair State University Red Hawks. The Red Hawks would prove to be a challenging opponent as they started strong an earlier 1-0 and would later add on another at the fifty-fourth minute.

The Mules would answer back with a goal of their own from Rydgren with the assist coming from freshman Sarah Raab ‘22. However, it wouldn’t be enough as the team would fall 2-1, bringing their overall record to 3-5. To find success in their next game and the rest of the season Segrave made it clear “we need to set the tone of the game. We must attack offensively, find our flow, keep up with our opponent, and not let them get ahead.”

On Wednesday Oct. 3rd the women travel to Bryn Mawr to take on the ninth place Owls in a Centennial Conference match-up.

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