Bears beat Bullets: Gettysburg College field hockey suffers loss in Centennial Conference season opener
By Elizabeth Hilfrank, Sports Editor
The Gettysburg College field hockey team lost 6-2 in its Centennial Conference opener at home Saturday against Ursinus College.
The Ursinus Bears are three-time defending conference champions, and they were ranked fourth nationally in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll. The Centennial Conference Coaches’ Preseason poll predicted another first-place finish by the Bears this season.
Current statistics place the Bears fourth in the Conference with a 4-1 record and the Bullets seventh with a 2-2 record. The Bears hold a 37-4 record over the Bullets in the history of the series between the two teams.
While the Bears put on a threatening show in the first quarter of the game, scoring three goals in the first eleven minutes of play, Gettysburg did not give up easily.
By the twelfth minute of play, the Bullets lit up their side of the scoreboard for the first time that day due to a goal from senior Kathryn Hardman assisted by senior Tori Sankey. The point marked Hardman’s second goal of the 2016 season.
Ursinus retaliated, however, and the first half ended with a 5-1 lead over Gettysburg.
The second half of the game proved to be more back-and-forth in action. Junior goalkeeper Haley Mowery was busy with three saves in the early minutes of the second half.
Mowery ranks fifth in the Centennial Conference for numbers of saves, totaling 25 for the season thus far. She made seven saves total Saturday.
Mowery was also the Centennial Conference Athlete of the Week for the second time in her career the week of September 12. She was recognized for her 18 saves from the two back-to-back games in the prior week.
Senior captain Samantha Wright attempted to bridge the score gap with a goal off a pass from junior Lily Neibart, but this goal was the last one scored by the Bullets on Saturday.
Wright is a top stat leader for the Centennial Conference in points scored, tying for fourth with twelve points on record for the early season. With five goals also for the season, Wright ranks fifth for the conference in that statistic. Wright returns for her final season as a forward with 46 game appearances and 13 goals under her stick.
Senior Ann Kopera of Ursinus College completed her hat trick of the day with a final goal of the game during the 52nd minute of play. Kopera earned a career high of nine goals and 13 points last season.
While five goals were put past the Gettysburg team, the Bullets were not remiss in defensive attempts. Lady Bullets junior Kelly Reymann, senior Nina Diamond and first year Julia Soares all added defensive saves to their stats.
Soares comes from a highly successful high school field hockey career, earning a title of the NFHCA Southern New England Regional Team, first-team all-state, first-team all-division and Rhode Island Cox Player of the Year.
Diamond is a stat leader for defensive saves, tying for second in the conference with three on the season.
While the Bears may have come out on top for this matchup, the Bullets remain hopeful for a successful season.
“Our goals for this season are to work together as a team to be a cohesive unit and to get to the Centennial Conference championships,” said junior Philippa Lumsden.
With four assists on her season record, Lumsden holds second place for assists in the conference and ranks as a top assister for the Gettysburg team.
The Bullets entered Saturday’s game with 20 goals already on the season, a second-best three-game total for the program’s history.
Gettysburg will host Washington College Saturday at 1 p.m.