BY EMMA BLACK
The University’s field hockey team left its mark in the record books Tuesday night, claiming the best start to a season in the team’s history.
The Royals improved to 8-0 after defeating the Knights of Arcadia University and the Mighty Mac of Immaculata University last week. The Saturday victory over the Knights advanced the Royals to 7-0. Saturday’s victory was what the team needed in order to hold the title of best start to a season in Royals field hockey history.
“They came into preseason completely ready to go. They had all worked hard over the summer, so we were able to start off really quickly,” head coach Colleen Moyer said.
Moyer also said that the team’s experience playing together and high desire to succeed has worked to its benefit this year.
The recent success of the team has captured national attention. FieldHockeyCorner.com ranks the Royals 27th nationally and eighth in the South Atlantic region. This ranking is based on four factors: team record, average computer ranking (ACR), ratings percentage index (RPI) and strength of schedule (SOS). With a record of 8-0, the Royals have an ACR of 97.2, RPI of .564 and SOS of .418.
Moyer is pleased with the rankings but says the team will not stop here.
“We’ve always thought that we’re a great team but there are always things you can do better, so we want to continue to improve,” Moyer said.
The Royals can look to move up in the rankings, as they will take on teams ranked above them later this season. Scranton will host second-ranked Montclair State University in October and will face Catholic University in November for the team’s final conference game. The team anticipates Catholic will be a tough opponent.
“Drew and Catholic will be our two biggest rivals. They were our rivals last year and they were the two teams who went to the conference final. We were close, so our biggest goal is to beat them,” head coach, Colleen Moyer said.
Scranton moved to 8-0 when it defeated the Mighty Macs of Immaculata University 5-2 in the most recent match of its on going winning streak Tuesday night.
Junior Cassie Mullen opened the scoring for the Royals in the 30th minute when she finished a side angle shot unassisted. The Mighty Macs returned the point just 37 seconds later when sophomore Lindsay Cras put one in the cage for them.
“We needed to pick up our intensity so at half time we pumped each other up and said we didn’t want this to be our first loss,” junior Kat Keale said.
It was not until the second half that Scranton would become a scoring threat. They were able to get off five shots on goal in just the first three minutes of the half. Junior Alyssa Fania and sophomore Alyssa Whitman each scored with only a minute between the goals, but the Mighty Macs did not give up. Sophomore Patsy Murphy put another one on the board for Immaculata, making the score 3-2.
“We needed to finish. We had a lot of shots on goal but they weren’t going in, so everyone was keeping their sticks down and just really determined to get the ball in the back of the cage,” Keale said.
Scranton would go on to receive goals from Keale and Mullen later in the half to propel the Royals to the 5-2 victory.
With the Landmark Conference opener coming up, the team has high hopes.
“We lost to Juniata last year in overtime, so this year we’re going to go in as a team and excited and hoping to keep the winning streak going,” Keale said.
The Royals will host the Eagles of Juniata College at 1 p.m. Saturday With a win Saturday, the team will tie the school record for consecutive wins, which was set at nine in 1997.
“It’s probably going to be a tough game … If we go in and play the way we can play, we should have a good chance of winning,” Moyer said.
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