Huskies Field Hockey Proves They Are the Dogs of All Underdogs 

Photo by Bill Strockbine

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the Bloomsburg University field hockey team let their bark be heard. They defeated the third-ranked Millersville Marauders in a double overtime battle. After 78 scoreless minutes, Sophomore, Kristin Robinson killed two birds with one stone. She led her team to victory, as well as checking off her first goal of the season.  

From the first whistle blown, to the end of the 15 minutes, Millersville and Bloomsburg came out with high intensity in the first quarter, even in the torrential rain. There was no question as to how eager both teams fought offensively. Considering the 0-0 scoreboard, their defensive lineups replicated the same energy. Bloomsburg’s attack was just shy of a scoring opportunity after Junior, Cheyenne Ott, earned herself a 35-yard breakaway into Millersville circle before Senior, Jordan Goddard, jabbed her opponent loose. This fueled the fire for Millersville’s game leading Senior, Erica Tarsi, who worked to get the ball in the hands of Junior, Emma Boutcher. With Boutcher’s exploding shot into the circle, Bloomsburg’s defense was quick to react where it then backfired off the goalie’s pads.

21 minutes into the competition, Bloomsburg held their breath when Tarsi picked up Senior, Alexis Gazzio’s deflection and swept one in right before Sophomore defender, Callie Edwards, hastily knocked it off the goal line. Husky Sophomore, Foto Tsioles, also contributed to the ferocity as she hoped to score before halftime, however, her shot was blocked by defensive Sophomore, Ashlynn Lennon.

Statistically, the Millersville Marauders dominated the third quarter. Tarsi and Sophomore, Georgia Werkiser combined for a total of eight shots. However, Bloomsburg’s Junior keeper, Hannah Barnard did more than just show up, knocking out 15 saves. Impressively, Barnard improved her save percentage to .883 and now holds the record for the highest amount of saves in a shutout performance for the PSAC this year.

Bloomsburg had no choice but to start the 7v7 with only six, as a result of Junior midfielder, Alyssa Broadt obtaining a yellow card twenty seconds before the end of regulation. 

Even in overtime, Tarsi continued to attack as she relentlessly dodged two Bloomsburg players. She reverse chipped a shot before taking a fall with her momentum. Not only did Barnard add to her collection of saves, but Willow Perkins snatched the mobile ball just in time to make a 60-yard break to goal. On Perkin’s tail, however, was Goddard, who sprinted to the rescue and accompanied Peters in a moment where a jab slowed down the energy and Peters blocked the narrow shot. Recovering the ball led to a passing sequence that ended in Sophomore, Hannah Brown, charging the circle only to be blocked by Barnard. The first overtime concluded with an offensive penalty corner for the Marauders, who missed a buzzer-beater opportunity due to a save from Barnard in goal.

Millersville got things rolling at the start of double overtime thanks to another fiery shot by Tarsi. Unfortunately, neither team could capitalize until Robinson’s closing statement.

At last, with only two-and-a-half minutes to spare, a hard drive at the 25 from Edwards, found its way to Robinson. She immediately served a backhanded shot to the back corner. As the Bloomsburg Huskies stormed the field in search of celebration, the Millersville Marauders walked off their stomping grounds empty handed. 

After a few days of letting the victory sink in, Bloomsburg head coach, Nikki Hartranft, was pleased to share her assessment of the win. Hartranft claimed: “I was extremely proud of how the ladies held their poise and confidence throughout the entirety of the game. The weather conditions were the same for both teams, but for us to capitalize on the moment and play together proves what I have continuously said all season; we have what it takes, we will never quit, and we will continue to grow our game every day to compete with the very best in NCAA Division II Field Hockey.” 

After a tough loss, the Millersville Marauders are now 3-4 in the PSAC conference as well as 11-4 overall. This now marks the third game in four matchups that Millersville has lost to Bloomsburg. They will be hitting the road Saturday, Oct. 26, where they will be facing Mansfield for the first time this season. As for Bloomsburg, the Huskies tightly grip onto a two-game winning streak and improve their overall record to 5-10 and 2-5 for the conference. Bloomsburg will also be confronting a new face, Slippery Rock, at their own Steph Pettit Stadium, just in time for their homecoming weekend.