After stellar performances in their first four outings the Muhlenberg field hockey team suffered its first loss of the season this past Saturday. In their first Centennial Conference matchup of the year the Lady Mules fell 4-0 to the Gettysburg Bullets at Scotty Wood Stadium.
The squad entered the contest with a red hot defense, having won their first four games of the season in dominant defensive fashion. In fact, the Mules were one of only three Division III field hockey teams in the nation to enter last weekend without yet surrendering a goal. They scraped by Scranton in the first game of the year 1-0, and won by the same score in overtime against Elizabethtown for their third win of the year. In the game prior to their faceoff with Gettysburg, they put up a complete all-around performance, destroying King’s College 4-0.
The defense had been so good that Jordan Segrave ‘20, the starting goalie, was named Centennial Conference player of the week for the second time in her career. She tallied four saves against a more than capable DeSales offense, and followed that up with a five save performance in the overtime clash with Elizabethtown. Her brilliant performance rewarded her with the 12th shutout of her career.
The defense was not as sharp on Saturday afternoon, giving up a goal to the Bullets 11 minutes into the first quarter. The Bullets would go on to put up seven shots on goal in total over the course of the game and while Segrave saved three of them, Gettysburg’s attack was too much to overcome. Gettysburg netted two in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
Rachel Richards ‘21, who has started every single game since her arrival in 2017, is focused on bouncing back from the loss. “Our team had a lack of communication that had an all around negative effect on the game,” said Richards, who has scored twice already this year. “We plan on learning from our mistakes and working on playing as a team for the full 60 minutes we are on the field,” she added.
Muhlenberg is looking to advance to their second straight Centennial Conference playoff berth, which would give Head Coach Megan Eddinger seven appearances in 16 years. The Mules are on pace to improve upon the 10-8 record they posted last season. But the toughest stretch of the season has yet to arrive.
Richards stressed the need for the squad to put the Gettysburg game behind them. “Every Centennial Conference game is a back and forth battle, so we can’t have any negative mindsets going into the games,” she said. “We need to go into every game with the want and will to win in order to succeed.”
The Lady Mules have no time to dwell on the Gettysburg loss, as their next two games are against two tough conference rivals. They travel to Lancaster, PA on Saturday for a showdown with Franklin & Marshall, then have a quick turnaround and travel to Haverford Wednesday, Sept. 25.