READING, Pa. – After suffering their first shutout of the season on Wednesday night at Rowan by a final of 2-0, the Stevenson field hockey team looked to rebound with a victory in the conference opener Saturday evening at Albright. Unfortunately, for the Mustangs (4-3, 0-1 MAC Commonwealth) it was not to be as they fell in overtime to the Lions, 2-1. Sophomore Tanner Ridgely led the offense for the guests scoring the lone goal and firing a team-high four shots.
With the loss, Stevenson has now dropped the last two to Albright (3-3, 1-0 MAC Commonwealth), falling last season by a 3-2 scoreline. The last Mustang win in the series came back in 2015, with a 1-0 triumph in Reading. It is also the second year in a row that they have started MAC Commonwealth play 0-1 after falling to Messiah in last year's opener.
The visitors came strong as the first home shot of the match 2:38 in was blocked aside by the defense. That sent them back on the counter-attack as Ridgley forced a save out of home backstop Aileen Taylor. The following rebound kicked out to junior Ashley Meyer, but her attempt was cleared away by the backline before it tested Taylor.
A few minutes later again it was the Mustangs on the offensive as a shot from freshman Noel Martin sailed high, but earned a penalty corner. Off the ensuing corner, it was another young gun in freshman Brigid Saroch who ripped one at Taylor who kicked it to the side to keep the game scoreless.
In the 27th through the 29th minutes, the home team had their best chances of the half two shots from Marley Berger caused sophomore goalie Kelsey Eure to make one big save. It also made sure the defense kept on its toes as during that span Albright also racked up three straight corners, but none of them amounted to anything.
The rest of the half saw neither side get a quality scoring chance and the teams headed to the half in a scoreless tie. At the break, Stevenson held a slim 5-4 advantage in shots.
Coming to start the second half it was Albright on the front foot as they mustered two quick chances towards Eure and forced a save. A foul by the Mustangs with 38:23 gone led to a Lions penalty stroke. Kaley Donmoyer stepped up to the spot one-on-one versus Eure. Her attempt was stopped by the visiting goalie and the match was still knotted at 0-0.
For the next ten-plus minutes the contest was spent primarily in the midfield with each team only getting one opportunity at each other's cage.
The game finally had a breakthrough in the 53rd minute when junior Sara McVey took the ball up the middle of the pitch and fed a pass through to Ridgely who was left all alone against Taylor and she slipped into the back of the net giving Stevenson a 1-0 lead. For Ridgely, it was her third of the campaign and fourth as a Mustang. McVey tried to add to the lead a minute later when she was in the attack area, but her blast was sent away by Taylor.
With the away side attempting to hold on for the victory, the hosts got their equalizer in the 65th minute as Berger sent a pass along to Amanda Long. She ripped one from the left side of the area passed Eure to put the teams on level terms at 1-1.
It would be Stevenson who would have the last crack with 2:02 to play, but Martin fired one wide of Taylor and the sides headed to overtime tied at one apiece.
The overtime period only saw one chance and it was the game-winner as Long got the ball from Mia Moshang and beat Eure again from the left side of the attack area to win the match for the Lions, 2-1.
Albright held the edge in shots for the game 13-10, and also in penalty corners 12-5.
Stevenson will continue their four-game road trip on Tuesday, September, 26 when they travel to Gettysburg to take on the Bullets of Albright College in non-conference play at 4:00 p.m.