EMU's field hockey team gave a great effort Saturday, treating EMU's Centennial Homecoming crowd to an exciting contest before finally dropping a 5-2 decision. The women answered the Maroons (11-1/4-0 ODAC) every time they scored until an injury depleted roster finally wore out late.
The Royals (3-9/0-5 ODAC) stay in Harrisonburg for their final two home games of the year, starting Wednesday at 7:00pm with their ODAC finale against Shenandoah. EMU hosts Concordia (Wisc.) next Friday afternoon before heading to Kentucky for a three-game trip over Fall Break.
The women did not back down from a Roanoke team which holds the best record in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Rebecca Schmidt got the Maroons on the board in the 15th minute.
Despite no shot attempts over the first 31 minutes, the Royals equalized in the 32nd. Senior Janae Kauffman (Harleysville, Pa./Christopher Dock) started the goal-scoring sequence with a turnover on the defensive side of midfield and pushed the ball up to classmate Emily Augsburger (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite). The midfielder found Lauren Hartzler (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central) up on the right, who then sent a cross to the left side of the cage, where Alyssa Gore (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem) pounded it in for her fourth goal of the season.
The score remained tied 1-1 at halftime.
Ten minutes into the second, RC's Leonore Keunen stuck back a rebounded ball to get the visitors back in front. EMU charged back, looking for another equalizer. In a span of less than three minutes, the Royals earned three corners and fired four shots. But it was Roanoke who hit the cage next when Keunen scored on a breakaway in the 50th.
After another rally from the women, Augsburger earned a stroke. She drilled the bottom right to cut the margin to 3-2 with 11:54 to play.
The final 10 minutes belonged to Roanoke, however, as they got a goal from Paige Warner in the 62nd and Keunen tacked on one more in the final minute to earn a hat trick.
The Royals were out-shot 32-10, but took nine of their shots in the second half. EMU also earned all seven of their corners after the intermission and finished with a 7-4 advantage for the game. Goalie Kelsey Troyer (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) racked up 16 saves in another good effort in front of the cage.
Augsburger and Gore each had three shots to lead EMU, while Madeline Mast (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) added two.
The Royals also celebrated their three seniors before the game: Mikayla Martin (Colorado Springs, Colo./Lewis Palmer), Janae Kauffman and Emily Augsburger. Each of the trio are four-year members of the field hockey program and have provided a lot of leadership on and off the field, especially helping during two coaching changes.