Freshman Lauren Hartzler (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central) and senior Emily Augsburger (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) keyed much of the drama as Eastern Mennonite earned a 5-4 win over Concordia (Wisc.) in overtime Friday afternoon in Harrisonburg.
After Augsburger charted five points, including an assist on the game-tying score in the 68th minute, Hartzler won it with a goal 1:53 into extra time.
The field hockey women improve to 4-10 with a win in their final home game of the season. They head to Kentucky for a three-game trip over Fall Break, starting with Sunday's game against Hendrix at Centre College in Danville, Ky. EMU gets Centre on Monday, followed by a game at Transylvania Tuesday on the way home.
The Royals had a flurry in the 18th minute, and Augsburger cashed in for her fourth goal of the season. The midfielder fired a long shot that was blocked, and then punched the rebound past CUW's goalie to give Eastern Mennonite the lead.
The Falcons controlled play for the rest of the half, but could not manufacture any scoring plays as EMU took the 1-0 margin into the intermission.
Concordia made a quick strike in the second, however, drawing a foul on a breakaway just over a minute into play. Sam Dunn hit the left side of the cage on the resulting stroke to equalize.
The Royals charged back with Emily Price (Hampton, Va./Homeschool) scoring in the 50th minute. The sophomore had back-to-back shots saved before finally getting the third into the cage. Price had missed the previous two games with an injury but was cleared to play late during the pre-game warmups.
The Falcons had a quick answer, as Kelsey Fulton scored in the 56th. Four minutes later, she scored again, giving Concordia their first lead at 3-2.
Just two minutes later, the Royals responded to their first deficit by rallying in front of the cage and earning a stroke. Augsburger finished it on the right side of the cage, converting a stroke for the second straight game.
Fulton was not done, however, scoring for the third time in the 65th minute, putting the Falcons back in front by one.
Despite the waning time, Eastern Mennonite stayed calm and went on the attack. With 2:53 remaining, Augsburger fired a centering pass from the right wing and sophomore Madeline Mast (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) decided it was the perfect time for her first goal of the season, hitting the cage to lock up the score once again.
Each team drew a corner over the final two minutes, but neither could get off a clean shot as each went into overtime for the first time this year.
Concordia made the first offensive move, but a goalie Kelsey Troyer (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) alertly let a hit from outside of the circle carry through untouched.
EMU responded quickly.
Defender Kayla Maret (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River) pushed a pass over midfield, which split two CUW players to suddenly open up a breakaway. Price grabbed it and looked ahead to a wide-open Hartzler, just inside of the circle. The up-and-down nature of the game played out perfectly in the final sequence, as the pass got away from Hartzler and stopped by Concordia's charging goalie, Kennedy Boyer. Her clear, however, rebounded right back to Hartzler, who pulled a quick touch away from Boyer, leaving the goalie on the ground and the cage wide open for the score.
Despite the Falcons' 21-18 advantage in shots, EMU was better on-target, 11-9.
Price and Hartzler each had four shots on goal. Augsburger finished with two goals and one assist in her final home game.
Troyer made five saves, ending a string of 10 straight games with double-digit saves. The effort also ended a nine-game losing streak for the Royals.
The wild end to the game featured eight goals after halftime, including five in the last 12 minutes of play.