Freshman Courtney Ray (Yorktown, Va./Yorktown) scored a memorable first goal, converting a penalty stroke 1:46 into the second overtime to give EMU a 2-1 win over Ferrum on Sunday.
The decision gave the field hockey women their first opening weekend win since 2011.
Eastern Mennonite controlled much of the game on their home field, finishing with a hefty 31-14 advantage in shots. They attacked from the opening touch, even getting a shot attempt in the first minute. Julie Burkhardt (Perkasie, Pa./PA Cyber) finally got the women on the board, tapping in a drive from Alyssa Gore (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem) in the 26th minute.
Ferrum earned the equalizer early in the second half, when Sierra Magdaleno turned and fired from the top of the circle to make it 1-1.
Both teams had good chances from there, but the game slipped through the remainder of regulation and through a first 15-minute overtime session.
Early in the second OT, keeper Kelsey Troyer (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite), who had only entered at the start of overtime, made a nice step up to break up Ferrum's pass into the circle. Jessica Conner (Charlottesville, Va./Albemarle) picked up the ball and fire a long pass ahead to senior Lorraine Armstrong (Greencastle, Pa./Greencastle-Antrim) who was streaking ahead on a breakaway.
Armstrong ended up getting tackled from behind as she broke into the circle, resulting in a stroke. Ray then stepped up and nailed the upper left of the cage, setting off the Royals' celebration on the field.
Emily Price (Hampton, Va./Homeschool) and Armstrong combined for 17 shots in the game, out-shooting the Panthers on their own. Price put five on goal and Armstrong had three on target.
Troyer finished with four saves, all in the first overtime session, to get the win. Michelle Danek (Fredericksburg, Va./Stafford) made four saves during regulation.
EMU (1-1) gets a big challenge on Wednesday, playing at No. 12 Mary Washington. Then they play next Friday and Saturday at the Wilson College Invitational in Chambersburg, Pa.