|Messiah increased its winning streak to 34 in a row. Its last loss came in overtime to Shippensburg in the 2016 season opener.
Shippensburg athletics photo
In a highly anticipated tilt between the No. 1 teams in the country in NCAA Divisions II and III, Messiah field hockey proved that divisional lines are just a technicality, thoroughly dominating the top-ranked and defending D-II national champion Shippensburg Raiders on the road by a final score of 4-0 on a rain-soaked afternoon from soggy Robb Sports Complex.
The win for the Falcons improves their record to 12-0. Messiah outshot Shippensburg 21-4 in the game, and earned 13 penalty corners while the Raiders only had two.
Messiah avenged its only loss from last season, a 1-0 defeat to Shippensburg in the first game of the 2016 season. The Falcons have won 34 consecutive outings.
After four unsuccessful shots in the opening 15 minutes, Kristin Donohue found Carissa Gehman in front of the cage for the first goal of the game at the 17:41 mark. Shippensburg got a few chances to even the score in the following minutes, but Shelby Landes turned aside one attempt and another Raider shot was blocked by the Falcon defense.
Gehman scored twice more in the second-half, continuing her scalding-hot October as the senior notched her third hat trick of the season and seventh of her historic career. In three games this month, she has tallied 10 goals and 21 points on 37 shots, with the game-winning goal in all three. She now has 95 career goals (16 behind program record 111 held by current assistant coach Danae (Chambers) Hollenbach '05) and 206 career points (20 behind Aftan Fisher '07 for second-place all-time in the Messiah record books).
Six minutes before halftime, the Falcons were knocking on the door again. This time, it was Karalyn Schmidt who found the back of the cage for her first goal of the season, pushing the Messiah advantage to 2-0.