SEASON REVIEW: Royals Make Big Strides In 2018

(photo by Scott Eyre)
(photo by Scott Eyre)

Excitement continues to grow around EMU's field hockey program, and rightfully so.

The team increased their scoring in 2018, while also decreasing their goals against average. And the recruiting work of second-year coach Ashley Kishorn is paying off, with freshmen scoring nearly half of the Royals' 40 goals. As a team, EMU earned enough wins to accomplish things that hadn't been done in a decade.

Despite graduating Kelsey Troyer, the new program leader in career saves, the Royals look poised to make some noise next year, as Troyer and Julie Burkhardt were the only two seniors on team.

Record in 2018: 8-11 (1-7 ODAC)
Coach: Ashley Kishorn (13-23 overall, 1-14 ODAC in two seasons)

Coach Kishorn Comments:
"I am very proud of how far the team came this season. We started the season with aspirations for improvement. We met this goal in so many ways. We showed statistical improvement in every offensive and defensive category, our overall record moved to 8-11, and our players have made individual gains in the weight room and on the field. Next season, I hope that we will be able to build on this momentum and make the ODAC Tournament."

Lauren Hartzler
– Royals Athlete of the Week (Sept. 3-9)
Skylar Hedgepeth
– All-ODAC Third Team
Kayla Maret
– All-ODAC Second Team, Royals Athlete of the Week (Oct. 22-28)
Kelsey Troyer
– EMU Record for Career Saves (511 saves), Royals Athlete of the Week (Sept. 17-23)

Statistical Leaders:
- Goalie Kelsey Troyer led the ODAC with 170 saves, tying for 9th in the nation.
- Defender Brandy Troutman was tied for 2nd in the ODAC with 7 defensive saves, tying for 21st in the nation.
- Casey Webb added 5 defensive saves and Rachel Musselman made 4.
- Forward Skylar Hedgepeth was tied for 7th in the ODAC with 11 goals, and was tied for 1st with 4 game-winning goals (against Notre Dame, Frostburg State, Hood and Sweet Briar).
- Forward/midfielder Kayla Maret was tied for 10th in the ODAC with 9 goals, and tied for 9th with 5 assists.
- Rachel Breslin notched 15 points (6 goals, 3 assists) and Lauren Hartzler added 11 points (4 goals, 3 assists).

Season Highlights:
- 8 wins were the most for the program since 2011.
- 6-1 start to the season was the best since 2008.
- 5-game winning streak was the longest for the Royals since 2008.
- Royals won their season opener for the first time since 2010 (1-0 win over Transylvania on Sept. 1).
- In the 2-1 shootout win at Goucher on Sept. 4, Kelsey Troyer made three straight stops on GC attempts, allowing goals from Kayla Maret, Lauren Hartzler and Madeline Mast to clinch it.
- In the 3-2 win over Frostburg State on Sept. 12, Skylar Hedgepeth scored 2 goals, including the game-winner with just 3:40 left on the clock.

Career Statistical Notes:
- Goalie Kelsey Troyer broke the EMU career saves record in the win over Wesley on Sept. 21. She finished with 511 career saves.  Hall of Honor member Jen Kooker had held the record at 389 since 1995.

Athlete Comments:
"This season was so great for EMU Field Hockey with having the best start to a season in a decade. People actually came to our games this season, which was great to see, even if they didn't really understand field hockey. A highlight for me was definitely our shootout win versus Goucher. Out of my three seasons of field hockey at EMU, this by far was my favorite one." – Senior Julie Burkhardt