MANSFIELD, Pa. - The Saint Michael's College field hockey team lost to No. 6 Shippensburg University, 2-0, on Sunday, holding the national power off the board until the second half during the Dr. Art DeGenaro Classic at Mansfield (Pa.) University's Karl Van Norman Field.
The Purple Knights move to 1-1 after taking on the Raiders for the 15th time in the last 16 years in non-league play, concluding a season-opening weekend in Pennsylvania. Shippensburg, whose ranking is according to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) preseason poll, improved to 3-0.
Senior Abigail Bowie (Readfield, Maine/Kents Hill School) made 12 saves for Saint Michael's, coming within two of her career high. Senior Katelyn Grazan and sophomore Noelle Kephart both scored for the Raiders, and classmate Ally Mooney worked the three-save shutout.
Junior Jackie Matthews (Auburn, Mass./Auburn) had an early chance for the Purple Knights, sending the first shot of the game wide in the third minute. Bowie made three stops in the opening 11:19 before Shippensburg had a pair of opportunities in the final nine minutes of the initial stanza. In the 27th minute, a penalty corner led to a Raider shot that was blocked by a Saint Michael's field player, and Bowie denied another bid in the 32nd minute, which was followed by an ensuing blocked shot by a Purple Knight. On a follow-up penalty corner, Shippensburg was unable to attempt another shot, and the teams headed into halftime scoreless.
After firing just six shots in the first half, the Raiders rattled off seven in the first 8:14 alone of the second stanza, with Bowie saving two but the last one finding the back of the net, as Grazan started the scoring at 43:14. Bowie denied Grazan's first shot late in the 43rd minute, but Grazan came out of a scrum 17 seconds later and sent the shot over the netminder.
Amid Shippensburg's early flurry, senior Abby Dusha (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich Central School) had a chance to put the Purple Knights ahead, but her shot off a penalty corner was saved in the 39th minute. Bowie kept her team close, making eight saves in the second half, including back-to-back stops in both the 47th and 48th minutes and one save in the 50th. With the score still 1-0, Matthews had a try denied by Mooney in the 52nd minute, and senior Carolyn Avery (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) sent a follow-up attempt wide.
The Raiders doubled their lead with a little more than 11 minutes remaining, as Kephart took a pass from first-year Hannah Selassie out front and hit the right side of the net at 58:55. The Purple Knights had one final opportunity to halve their deficit, but sophomore Nicole White's (Cranston, R.I./Lincoln School) 66th-minute shot was stopped.
The Purple Knights visit American International College on Wednesday for a 5 p.m. contest.