Zeiders’ late goal lifts #8 field hockey to 2-1 win over #5 Kutztown Wednesday: Rhoads one win shy of 100 as BU field hockey head coach

Courtesy of, Sports Information

     Junior Brooke Zeiders banged home a rebound with 1:35 left in regulation to break a 1-1 tie and to lift the eighth-ranked Bloomsburg University field hockey team to a 2-1 victory over fifth-ranked Kutztown University on a hot and humid Wednesday afternoon at Steph Pettit Stadium. It marked the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) opener for the Huskies, who improved to 5-3 overall on the season. The Golden Bears, meanwhile, dropped to 6-3 overall and 1-1 in conference action.

     After some great passing on a penalty corner play for the Huskies, the ball eventually landed on the stick of senior MacKenna Mahan who fired a shot that Kutztown goalkeeper Chardonnay Hope was able to turn aside. However, Zeiders was stationed at the side of the crease and was able to bury the rebound into a wide-open goal for her fifth marker of the season. The visitors promptly took a timeout after the go-ahead goal but were unable to mount any offensive pressure during the last 90 seconds.

     It was Zeiders’ first game-winning goal in a Huskies’ uniform and was her first goal since scoring against Adelphi during a 5-1 win on September 5.
Neither team was able to crack the scoreboard in an evenly-played first half. Kutztown held a slim, 6-5, advantage in shots but Bloomsburg led, 4-3, in penalty corners.

      Just 69 seconds into the second half, senior put the Huskies on the board with her sixth goal of the season – tying her for the team lead with junior Abby Sauder. Mahan was able to evade a couple of defenders and then beat Hope on a slapshot, through a screen, just inside of the arc. The goal established a new career-high for the senior and, with the assist on the game-winning goal, gives her a team-leading 16 points on the season – also a career-best.

     Kutztown maintained pressure in the Huskies’ end, getting four penalty corner attempts in less than three minutes just moments after Bloomsburg took the lead. During the stretch, the Golden Bears, who were unable to score, attempted six shots, four of which were stopped by Bloomsburg freshman goalkeeper Hannah Barnard  who was making her first collegiate start.

     However, with time winding down in regulation, the visitors were able to solve Barnard when Madison Stewart redirected a shot from just inside the arc by Mackenzie Fuhrman to tie the game at 1-1 with 8:10 left on the clock. It was Stewart’s fourth goal of the season. After the tally, both teams were unable to generate much offense until Zeiders’ heroics nearly seven minutes later.

     Barnard, who had played only 13 minutes during the first seven games of the season, made her first career start on Wednesday and turned aside five Kutztown shots. Hope dropped to 6-3 for the Golden Bears and was credited with four saves. Kutztown also had a pair of defensive saves on the afternoon.

     Kutztown edged the Huskies, 15-11, in shots but Bloomsburg maintained the edge in penalty corners, 13-10.

     The win marked the 99th career victory for head coach Nikki Rhoads who is in her eighth season as the head coach of the Huskies. Her next victory will make her just the second coach in program history with at least 100 wins, joining legendary coach Jan Hutchinson to accomplish the feat
It certainly doesn’t get any easier for the Huskies as they will head to second-ranked Shippensburg University on Saturday, September 30 for a 12:00 p.m. start. Bloomsburg will then travel to top-ranked East Stroudsburg on Tuesday, October 3 before returning home to host Mercyhurst University on Saturday, October 7.