By Jared Prenda
The CUA Lady Cards Field Hockey pulled off their second nationally ranked road upset in as many weeks as they beat #17 Mary Washington 4-3 Tuesday night. The huge comeback win pushed the team’s overall record to 6-2. and a perfect 4-0 on the road.
Mary Washington was the fourth nationally ranked team the team had played so far this season, with their only losses on the season coming at the hands of #6 TCNJ in the season opener and #1 Messiah a few weeks later. Despite the difficulty of their schedule, the Birds are happy with the way they’re playing and how it will help them going into Landmark Conference play.
“It definitely has been a challenge playing some of the best teams in the country but we would take that level of competition over an easy win any day,” said senior captain Kelly Cousoulis. “It shows us very clearly what is and isn’t working for us and knowing that we can compete with those kinds of teams gives us a ton of confidence that we bring into our conference games. At the end of the day we know our conference games matter the most and I think we do a good job of learning and getting better after every game that we play,” Cousoulis said.
The Catholic squad found themselves down 3-2 early in the second half against the Eagles, but two goals in under five minutes proved to be the deciding factor to earn the win.
The first half was evenly matched for both sides, with the Cards jumping on the board first in the first six minutes when midfielder Kerri Shallow buried one in the back of the net from an assist from Hannah Schied. The senior also recorded her only assist of the night three minutes later when she passed the ball to freshman Jess Waite to advance the team’s lead to 2-1. The Eagles managed to respond to tie the game at 2-2 at the half.
The Cards were not discouraged in the locker room, and wiped the slate clean leading into the next 20 minutes of play.
“I think it comes down to having a constructive halftime talk where we get together and hash out everything that we need to work on and what is working against our opponent,” Cousoulis said. “We make it a goal to treat each half like it’s a new game and aim to get a corner or a goal in the first minutes of each half. Also, after we score we make it a point to take advantage of our offensive momentum and aim to score another goal immediately after the other which has been successful for us so far this year.”
The Eagles picked up where they left off, scoring the goal to give them the lead only seconds into the start of the half. However, less than a minute later the Cards managed to get it right back. Schied picked up her only goal on the night off of a pass from senior Lizzie Ireland. She then ripped a high looping shot over the extended blocker of the Mary Washington goalie to tie the game at 3-3. Schied was shortly followed by Waite, who buried her second of the night off an assist from freshman classmate Kelly Cancelmo to give the Cards the game.
Senior goalkeeper Sophia Hamilton had a standout performance in net for the Birds, stopping 7 shots to advance her record to 6-2 on the year.
The Cards return to Landmark action, where they boast a 1-0 record following a road win over Susquehanna last Saturday, as they host Juniata on their Alumni Day. The game is set to start at 1 PM at Cardinal Stadium, and the team looks to take the momentum from the 4-3 upset over #17 Mary Washington with them into the match.