No. 8 IUP field hockey defeats No. 6 East Stroudsburg Saturday, 2-1
Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:09
The Crimson Hawks made a statement during their win over East Stroudsburg Saturday in Erie.
Ranked eighth in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll, IUP (3-0) narrowly defeated sixth-ranked ESU (1-2) by a score of 2-1 behind a two-goal effort from senior forward Shannon Sullivan.
Although most coaches would be excited about a win over the sixth-ranked team in the country, IUP Head Coach Gary Agard said he treats all wins the same.
"I don't use it as an indicator as us getting any better," he said during an interview in his office Sept. 14. "There are other teams right now that are really, really competitive. We don't take anything for granted at all — regardless if you are nationally ranked or if you're not nationally ranked."
Sullivan got the Crimson Hawks on the board early when she scored on a goal off the stick of sophomore midfielder Jillian Duld just 10 minutes into the game. The assist was Duld's first of the season.
Gaining early leads is something Agard wants to see from his team.
"What it does is that it puts the other team on the defensive," Agard said. "It creates momentum for us. As a team, once you score it creates confidence and momentum changes in our favor."
Just 1:28 into the second period, the Warriors put themselves on the scoreboard after senior midfielder Amanda McGuire knocked one past IUP goalie Sarah Lemieux after an assist from fellow senior midfielder Michelle Tewell. McGuire's goal was her second of the season – tied for first at ESU team. Later in the period, Sullivan put an end to the scoring drought when freshman defenseman Megan O'Donnell set her up nicely in front of the net to give the Hawks the lead for good. O'Donnell's pass was her first assist of the season.
Sullivan's two goals Saturday put her at four on the season and along with her two assists, gives her the team lead in points with 10. Sullivan's hot streak is new for her, as scored only 12 points all of last season.
"Shannon has taken her game to the next level," Agard said. "We've had conversations before [this season] telling her that this year is going to be a defining year for her being that she is a senior and she has to step up her game in order for her to have a really successful season."
"I am really happy to see Shannon stepping up this year," he added.The Crimson Hawks hope to continue its early season hot streak at 4 p.m. today when the team hits the road to play against fellow unbeaten Mansfield (2-0).
"They are the only team playing right now that actually has a grass field. Everything changes for us," Agard said. "The tactical gameplan that we use on our artificial surface has to change and we will have to adapt."