#7 Falcons Soar Past Eagles 5-0
Grantham PA - The Messiah Falcons (6-3) got back on track Tuesday night with a resounding 5-0 win over Eastern University on Messiah’s Anderson Field.
The Falcons matched their season-high with five goals, a feat they have now done four separate times this year. In this contest, Messiah saw four different players score goals and three notch assists, as Messiah avenged last season’s 1-0 loss to the Eastern Eagles.
“I thought we played extremely well,” said Jan Trapp, Messiah’s head coach. “The girls really stepped up, and this is a good team we played. They beat TCNJ and Rowan and I thought we played well again. It’s great to have so many girls capable of scoring goals for us. When there are a lot of different options, it’s just easier for the team. It gives a break to the starters when you have subs that can go in and score.”
The Falcons, who had trailed first in three of their past four games, took a 3-0 halftime lead, dominating in both the shots and the penalty corners.
“I’ve been big on stickwork now for 30 years, and the girls really did well on that today,” Trapp said.
Emily Hursh scored the first goal, taking a pass from sophomore forward Brooke Sands and deflecting it into left side of the net at the 7:24 mark. Sands notched another assist 11 minutes later, giving the ball to Juliana Hershey off a corner, as Hershey redirected the ball into the goal from the left side.
Senior forward Dara Downs gave Messiah a three-score lead when she took a pass from junior midfielder Emily Bower from the left side and scored minutes before halftime.
With the three-goal lead, the Falcons could relax and they cruised to a 5-0 win, getting late scores from Hershey – her second – and senior Kourtney Ehly for Messiah’s first five-score win since the second round of last year’s NCAA playoffs, a 7-0 win over Lynchburg College.
For Ehly, it was her 66th career goal, tying her for sixth place in the all-time Messiah record book. “Kourtney is just a truly special player, and we are fortunate to have her,” Trapp said. “Last year she played up front and was terrific, and this year we’re playing her back more and it’s a lot more grunt work for her, but she’s just responded to it great. She’s a great team player."
Kayleigh Stewart and Molly Gebrosky combined to complete a shutout in goal. Stewart started the game and Gebrosky finished, recording six saves in her 35 minutes of action.
Messiah remains undefeated at home (5-0) this season and has scored 20 goals while allowing just five on their home territory. It was the Falcons’ 35th consecutive home win overall, dating back to September 13, 2008, when the Falcons dropped a 3-1 decision to Rowan University. The Falcons have outscored their opponents 215-28 during that current streak, allowing an average of less than a goal per game.
“I think we always just play better on a carpet surface,” Trapp said. “It’s a speed game and stick game, and we’re good at that. On a grass field, you dribble slower and can’t use the stick as well, and it becomes more power and less finesse. We’re more of a finesse team so our field is great for that.”
The Falcons play Arcadia University in their next game, a Saturday conference game in Glenside, PA. Game time for that contest is slated for 1 p.m.