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The Blue & Gray Press | February 20, 2018

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Field Hockey Tops Eastern Mennonite, Florence George Tallies 4 Goals in Win

By WES HOST

The University of Mary Washington field hockey team dethroned the Royals of Eastern Mennonite University Tuesday, 9-1. The Eagles constantly bombarded their opponents with shots from nine players and goals from five.

Senior midfielder Florence George led the Eagles with four goals. She started early, scoring within the first two minutes of the game off of freshman forward Jenna Steele’s assist.

Sophomore Amy Abernathy racked up two more in the ninth and the 19th minutes. Steele capped off the Eagle’s first half, scoring in the 23rd minute after a pass by sophomore forward Christine Downie.

The Eagles did their best to stay physical despite many of the rules inhibiting contact. They contained along the sidelines, then attacked when a Royal cut toward the open field.

Once they gained possession they went to goal. The team had a surreal 36 shots, 25 of which were on goal.

The Eagles came out for the second half relaxed, and produced much of the same high power offense. George scored the rest of her goals consecutively in the 36th, 41st and 49th minutes.

Senior midfielder Lisa Charney also got her name on the books with a goal six minutes later. The Eagles continued to attack all the way until the final horn. Sophomore midfielder Courtney Rampey scored with five minutes to go to.

Being up by a considerable amount allowed less experienced players to get playing time. All 18 players played, including an appearance by sophomore goalkeeper Emily Badis. Badis had one save, while starter senior Claire Gianelle recorded three saves and was credited the win.

The one-sided game also allowed the team to improve aspects of their game. This game they focused on passing.

“Passing was much better this game,” assistant coach Kim Tomlin said. “We also want to do better at avoiding penalty corners by having quicker feet.”

Penalty corners are awarded when the defending team commits a foul in its back quarter. If executed correctly, they can present a major threat to the opposing team. The Eagles gave up five penalty corners while the Royals let up 15, two of which resulted in goals.

George, who is a team captain, had to sit out her sophomore season with an ACL injury. All the pieces have seemed to fall into place this season, as the Eagles have been nothing short of dominant thus far.
They remain undefeated and are ranked fifth in the nation.

However, the team isn’t worried about their flawless record or national rank.

“We try not to focus on it,” junior Mallory Peebles said. “We want to get to NCAA’s, being ranked doesn’t get you there.”

Despite EMU’s 2-6 record, the Eagles took this game seriously. Head coach Lindsey Elliot said, “We never take a team too lightly. We know we have a target on our backs and teams are going to be after us.”

The Eagles, despite wins against ranked opponents, including Lynchburg and Catholic, still have plenty of work cut out for them.

Wesley College, who they lost to in last season’s conference semifinals, and Salisbury University, who is ranked first in Division III, are still on their plate.

They venture down to Newport News, Va. Saturday to take on 13th ranked Christopher Newport Saturday. Last season, they won in an overtime thriller. It will be the first of the many tests they will face this October.