A whopping nine fans where present at Thursday’s field hockey game against the Shenandoah University Hornets. In spite of the low turnout of support, both teams were buzzing with excitement and anticipation as the game began. Five of the nine fans were supporting the Hornets and they were much louder than the few Seahawks fans in attendance. Even as more fans trickled in late, our opponents’ fans continued to out number and out spirit the home team support.
The Hornets dominating the field, controlling most of the play at the start of the game, until a key interception by sophomore forward Brady Wolf in the first few minutes led to the Seahawks scoring the first goal of the game. St. Mary’s took an upper hand after taking the lead and were playing with a ferociously competitive spirit. The Seahawks had another great scoring opportunity about a third of the way into the game but the Hornets goalie was more prepared for this second attempt and was able to block the shot. A forceful cross in front of the goal by Presha Merritt (#11) on the Hornets team gave Shenandoah a breath-stopping scoring opportunity just before the end of the first half, but the Seahawks defense was able to prevent the game from getting being tied at that point.
As the second 35-minute half began, it was still anybody’s game. The Seahawks were ahead 1-0 but the Hornets were still playing hard. Even after St. Mary’s scored their second goal, bringing the game to 2-0, the Hornets kept them fighting for every ball. In the final minutes of the game, the Hornets made an impressive shot, which bounced off the St. Mary’s goalie and into the goal. The refs paused the game to analyze the shot and did not to count the goal because the shot was not made within the designated shooting area of the field. On the scoreboard, the St. Mary’s won 2-0, but on the field it would have been impossible to say which team played better. Both teams had great energy and enthusiasm for the game and it showed in their playing on the field. The solid win in todays game bodes well for St. Mary’s coming season and shows how prepared they are to take on the conference teams they will be facing this fall.
This was a nonconference game, which will count in the teams’ season records but will not affect their conference rankings. Last year was a great one for the Seahawks ending the season with a 10-5-6. St. Mary’s ended up 4th behind the top three teams of the Capital Athletic Conference: Salisbury, Christopher Newport and Mary Washington. According to the inaugural Capital Athletic Conference preseason coaches poll, “the St. Mary’s College of Maryland field hockey team is expected to finish middle of the pack in the regular season Conference standings as the Seahawks came in fourth in the preseason poll”. However, Mark Smithers, one of the few Seahawks fans in attendance feels that “St. Mary’s is looking good, even better than last year.” This season, the Seahawks have won 3 of our past 4 games, showing that our Field Hockey team is ready to take our Conference games by storm.