W&J Travels To New York For Empire 8 Semifinals
WASHINGTON, Pa. -- The Washington & Jefferson field hockey team will face Utica on Saturday in the Empire 8 Tournament semifinals, beginning its search for the first conference title in school history.
W&J has advanced to the championship match in each of the first four seasons that the Empire 8 has held a postseason tournament; however, the Presidents have lost all four title contests.
Saturday morning’s match with Utica will be a rematch of last season’s semifinal, won by the Presidents, 3-2. Julianne Zackey ‘10 redirected a rebound into the back of the net with less than 10 minutes remaining to provide the final margin. Senior goalkeeper Shelby Colyer (Oxford, Ohio/Talawanda) made six saves to earn the win.
The Pioneers handed W&J a 2-1 overtime loss when the teams met in Utica earlier this season. Junior Amanda Pflumm (Shoreham, N.Y./Shoreham Wading River) knotted the game at 1-1 in the second half by putting home a rebound, but Mallory Mariano netted a goal with 1:55 remaining in overtime to give Utica the victory. Sophomore goalkeeper Harley Straub (Richfield, Pa./East Juniata) made a career-high 12 saves in the loss.
W&J and Utica have met on seven occasions all-time, with the Pioneers holding a slight 4-3 edge. The Presidents had won two straight in the series before falling earlier this season. Junior Erin Barno (Camp Hill, Pa./Cedar Cliff) has one goal and one assist in four meetings with Utica during her career.
Barno led the Presidents with 28 points (10G, 8A) this season. W&J is second in the Empire 8 with 48 goals scored, led by junior Jennifer Marabella’s (Sinking Spring, Pa./Holy Name) 12. Marabella became the all-time leading goal scorer in W&J history earlier this season and she enters the E8 Tournament with 43 career goals.
The W&J defense led the conference with a 1.43 goals against average and five shutouts. Straub filled in admirably for an injured Colyer, posting an 8-2 record with 47 saves and a 1.27 goals against average. Colyer returned in October and earned four wins, while stopping 37 shots.
Louise Steele-Norton leads the Pioneers with 15 goals and 31 points, both top marks in the conference, while Hannah Mackey tallied 13 goals and four assists for 30 points. Goalkeeper Monica Storms started 17 games, posting an 11-7 record with 98 saves and a 1.77 goals against average.