By Jimmy Cassidy
The field hockey team at Catholic University got off to a winning start in their 2015 fall season on Tuesday night, defeating the nationally-ranked Messiah Falcons, 2-0. The low scoring affair featured two of the top teams in the nation, and a rematch of a NCAA tournament matchup from a year ago. Messiah was beaten then in the second round of the NCAAs, and they could not get revenge on Tuesday evening at Cardinal Stadium. After two straight trips to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinals were voted #8 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll, the highest preseason rank they have received as a program. CUA was also picked to finished first in the Landmark Conference by conference coaches. The high hopes were put to the test as Catholic had to face the #13 ranked Messiah.
The 2-0 victory brings to mind the great defensive effort and goalkeeping that must have
went into to holding two powerful teams to a very low number of goals. 2014 Landmark First-Team All Conference goalkeeper Analisa Scott deserves a good deal of credit. The junior goalkeeper saved every shot she faced to get the impressive shutout victory. It was an important season opener victory that should encourage the team and coaches.
On the win, sophomore Rachel Day said “It was extremely important for the team to get off to a good start for the season to prove just how successful this season can be. Messiah was a strong opponent but we focused on supporting each other with communication, making cuts,
and getting open for passes.”
It only took two first half goals to get the win for the Cards, and they came in the first 21
minutes of the contest. After a penalty corner for CUA, sophomore Marisa Martinelli broke the tie and scored the first goal of her season in the 18th minute. Just three minutes later, Day notched the second goal as insurance for the Cards’ eventual victory. Both goals came from the
stick of senior Haley Wright, whose two assists were crucial in the offensive attack.
After more out of conference action, Catholic will kick off Landmark play at home against Elizabethtown College on Saturday, September 26th at 1 PM.