Messiah Gets Up Early, Finishes Strong In 4-2 Win At #3 Ursinus
By Cody Swartz, GoMessiah.com reporter
Ranked second Kookaburra/NFHCA Top 20 Preseason Poll, Messiah (2-0) scored just 1:31 into the contest and again with 2:21 elapsed, scores that would prove to be the difference in the ballgame.
It was yet another thrilling chapter in the Messiah-Ursinus rivalry, with the latest installments continuing to go the Falcons’ way: After handing Ursinus a 4-3 defeat early in 2009, Messiah again knocked off the Bears by a 4-3 count in last year’s NCAA National Semi-Finals.
Friday evening, the Falcons didn’t waste any time scoring on a hot and humid night, as senior Amber (Philpot) Good scored off a pass from sophomore Kelly Martin just over a minute into the contest. Less than a minute later, senior Julie Barton’s pass to sophomore Natalie Ziegler resulted in a second tally, putting Messiah ahead 2-0 just 2:21 into the game.
It marked the earliest the Falcons had scored two goals in a game since a 13-0 win over Shenandoah University on Oct 7, 2008, where the team put a pair on the board in 2:11 worth of game time.
Not to be outdone, however, Ursinus (0-1) scored two goals of their own, one right before halftime and one right after the break, to knot the game at 2-all.
“(Ursinus) answered back,” said Messiah assistant coach Brooke Good. “That made it time for us to pull ahead again. We were tough mentally and played as a team.”
Just 53 seconds after the Bears had tied the game at two goals apiece on a penalty stroke, Barton and Ziegler teamed up again on a go-ahead goal that would prove to be the game-winner. It was the second assist of the day for Barton, as well as Ziegler’s second goal.
A goal from freshman Brooke Sands off a pass from Emily Hursh at the 47:05 mark iced the 4-2 win for the Falcons.
Although the Bears outshot the Messiah (23-19) and recorded more penalty corners (18-12), Trapp’s Falcons hung tough and eked out its 29th consecutive regular-season win. The visitors recorded four defensive saves — including two from sophomore Erika Cann — while freshman goalkeeper Kayleigh Stewart finished with 10 saves.
“I was so pleased with the defense,” Good said. “This was a big test for them, and they really stuck together. They came up big in terms of both confidence and execution. Kayleigh stepped up big time. She showed confidence in her play. She wasn’t afraid to take risks or go after the ball. She played aggressive for us out there.”
The Falcons’ schedule doesn’t get any easier, as Trapp’s squad will face a Top 20-ranked team in each of its first six games. Next on the list for Messiah is an away matchup with Eastern University — ranked 19th — Thursday. Game time is set for 4 p.m.