EMU's field hockey women got a total team effort in picking up an 8-0 win at Sweet Briar Monday afternoon. The Royals improved to 8-9 on the season, with the eight wins the most for the program since 2011.
The women return to ODAC play for the final two games of the regular season, starting with their final home game against Randolph-Macon Wednesday night at 7:00pm. A win there as well as in Saturday's finale at Roanoke would boost the Royals into their first ODAC Tournament since 2014.
Skylar Hedgepeth (Smithfield, Va./Smithfield) did most of the early damage at Sweet Briar, including hitting the cage just 21 seconds in. The freshman scored again at the 7:01 mark, this time getting an assist from Rachel Musselman (Denver, Pa./Cocalico). Rachel Breslin (Lititz, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) then added an unassisted goal to put the women up 3-0 only 11:12 into play.
Goalie Kelsey Troyer (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) made back-to-back saves in a four-second span during a flurry in the 15th minute, and she added another stop in the 29th.
Two minutes later, Hedgepeth struck again for her first career hat trick, putting in a penalty corner inserted by Casey Webb (Hampton, Va./Bethel).
The 4-0 lead from the first half was matched over the final 35 minutes.
In the 39th minute, another corner found Webb hitting Hannah Nichols (Fredericksburg, Va./Chancellor) for her first collegiate goal. Nichols leads the team with five assists this year. Kayla Maret (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River) pushed in a rebounded shot from Webb four minutes later.
Julie Burkhardt (Perkasie, Pa./PA Cyber) dented the cage in the 49th minute with an assist from Bri Miller (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester). It was a big moment for Burkhardt, as the senior did not play in 2017 and only recently returned from missing 10 games due to an injury to score the first goal of her final season.
Miller added her own goal in the 57th minute, set up by Maret.
Eastern Mennonite controlled the flow of the game with a 36-5 advantage in shots. Troyer was perfect with four saves.