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Hershey Leads Homecoming Assault on Widener
(From left to right) Messiah's Ehly, Sands, and Ziegler celebrate Sands' goal that gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead.

By Cody Swartz, Gomessiah.com Reporter
Grantham, PA - The atmosphere was perfect for the Messiah Falcons: good weather, a packed crowd in the home arena, and the thrills of Homecoming Weekend.

The No. 9 ranked Falcons (9-3, 3-0) turned in a strong all-around performance against the Widener Pride (6-5, 1-2) in Saturday afternoon’s field hockey contest, scoring five times on offense while holding the Pride scoreless in a dominating 5-0 conference win.

Junior Juliana Hershey led the way, notching her unprecedented third hat trick in six games, while the defensive unit extended its streak of consecutive scoreless minutes to 190. It was the sixth straight time the Falcons defeated Widener, a streak that dates back to 2007.

“This was fun,” Trapp said. “In front of the Homecoming crowd, the crowd gets all hyped up, and we really enjoyed it. We were able to score well and we got everyone into the game.”

The Falcons have been receiving strong offensive performances as a team recently, none more valuable than the production of Hershey. Hershey is at 17 goals, more than twice as many as anyone else on the team, a figure that is good for second-best in all of the Commonwealth Conference. Hershey has remarkably notched multiple goals in four consecutive games now, giving her 10 in a 12-day span.

“(Juliana) is a little score-person,” Trapp said. “She is amazing and the great thing is she would be the first to tell you that anyone can’t score a goal without getting a pass from a teammate. (Juliana) just started scoring the spring after her freshman year and she hasn’t looked back since.”

Hershey has now accumulated 35 goals in 34 games since the beginning of her sophomore year; with 17 goals already this season, she is creeping up on the top ten goal scoring seasons in Messiah history. Hershey, who also added an assist in the game, leads the entire conference in average points per game (3.33).

Hershey’s goals today came at the 26:21 mark, the 28:06 mark, and again at 50:44, and she assisted Brooke Sands’ goal 7:43 into the game. Junior Emily Hursh topped off the scoring for the day with a goal at the 58:10 mark, getting an assist from senior Kilee Rosenberry. Messiah’s other assists came from Hursh, junior Kelly Martin, and freshman Becky Ely.

The defense hung tough, holding the Pride to just two shots and two penalty corners on the day.

“The defense played really well,” Trapp said. “Any time you get a shutout is a terrific effort. Gina Kellet really had an outstanding performance although all three played very well.”

Messiah split time among its three goalies in the game, with Molly Gebrosky and Kayleigh Stewart combining to play the first half, and Jess Garber taking over for the second half.

The Falcons return to action again on Wednesday afternoon, when they travel for a conference contest against rival Elizabethtown College. Game time is set for 4:30 p.m.