BY EMMA BLACK
The Royals field hockey team is off to its best start since 1998. The team is undefeated five games into the season.
Although King’s College holds the edge over the Royals in the 21 total times the teams have faced off, Scranton chipped away at the record, which is now 12-9, after defeating the Lady Monarchs 4-1 Tuesday night.
Leading up to Tuesday, Scranton had not defeated King’s in four years.
“King’s is a big game for us every year because we always have trouble beating them and it’s always a close game,” head coach Colleen Moyer said. “I was really proud of them for how they stepped up, and they weren’t scared. They wanted to win and they went for it.”
Playing forward for the first time this year, sophomore Krista Osborne opened the scoring for the Royals at the 5:27 minute mark.
Sophomore Alyssa Monaghan quickly responded with an equalizer for the Monarchs three minutes later, but junior Alyssa Fania would score again for the Royals just a few minutes after that to give the Royals a 2-1 advantage.
Before the close of the first half, Osborne scored her second goal of the game, giving the Royals a 3-1 lead as they entered the locker room.
Junior Cassie Mullen sealed the scoring for the Royals in the second half giving them a comfortable 4-1 lead.
“The forwards have really stepped up especially in the last couple of games. I think they are comfortable with their new roles, and thankfully scoring hasn’t been a problem because of all their hard work,” Moyer said.
The team’s defensive efforts may have been overlooked by some, but not by Moyer. The Royals surrendered only five shots to the Monarchs.
“Defensively, we played very well. Our defense is very strong, they’ve been playing together for a long time, so they’re used to each other and that helps a lot, too,” Moyer said. “Bridget Brady did a great job. King’s plays a lot on their right side and she’s our left defender, so she had a big job to do and she did it well,” Moyer added.
Brady says being focused and maintaining quick play was critical throughout the game. She also said that double teaming opponents has helped them succeed.
“We wanted to keep our speed up while staying focused. We’ve been working on playing together and doing doing double teams on people. I think double teams were a major focus of the game,” Brady said.
Brady also credited defensive success to the team’s strong goalkeeping. Junior Krista Mundy had two saves in the vic tory over King’s, which was the 12th of her career.
The Royals will be back in action 7 p.m. Thursday at home against Keystone College in a nonconference event.
If the team wins that game, it will tie the school’s all-time record for best start to a season. The record was last set in 1998 when the team went 6-0.
Scranton is one of 22 teams in NCAA Division III tied for first in winning percentage.
The Royals are also ranked in the top 50 in several team categories, including goals per game (3.50), goals against average (0.75) and average scoring margin (2.75).
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