#16 Field Hockey looks to break into top 10

The Captains took down another top 10 opponent over the weekend

The Captains Field Hockey program looked to continue their season with another strong showing against their third top 10 ranked opposition just four games into the season. 

An undefeated #5 Johns Hopkins showed up at Jennings Family Stadium to face the Captains and look to display their dominance after a Final Four run last season. With Christopher Newport ranking in at #16 and already falling in the season opener to a #4 ranked Messiah College, this matchup was set to be a demanding one. 

The Blue Jays came out swinging, looking to set the pace early and hopefully catch the Captains off guard. An early penalty corner was the perfect opportunity for the Blue Jays to get on the board. After sending the ball in, #26 Maddie Brown-Scherer rattled off two shots that were stopped short of the goal line by Captains defender #23 Marcella Sabbagh, picking up two defensive saves in the process. 

Undeterred, Brown-Scherer fired home her third try and picked up her third goal of the season and the game’s opener for an advantage just under five minutes in. 

The Captains were not put off and responded less than a minute later by racing back down the other direction and earning a penalty corner of their own, this one to be taken by #10 Bailey “Bam” Miller. Sabbagh looked to do some work on the offensive side of the field as she sent the ball around to Miller who equalized with Sabbagh picking up the assist. 

Strong defensive play by both sides stifled each other’s attacks with the score remaining tied at one apiece as the first period closed.

A series of penalty corners arose for the Blue Jays towards the end of the second period, but they were unable to capitalize and only forced a pair of saves from goalkeeper #0 Olivia Davis. It wasn’t until the third period when the Captains offence started to get rolling again, peppering #77 Jodie Baris who was tasked with being the last line of defense for Johns Hopkins. Baris was aided by her defense blocking shots as well as the Captains off target shooting and was only forced into 10 saves throughout the contest. #14 Courtney Fiest led the attack for Christopher Newport, sending seven shots, the highest total of the match, towards the goal with three on target, however, was unsuccessful in putting any past Baris. Despite the momentum the Captains brought in the third, it too was similarly scoreless.

After 45 minutes of action thus far in the unrelenting sun beating down on the players and spectators, everyone was hoping the game would end in regulation but with time winding down and the stingy defense on both sides, overtime was looking like a probability more and more. With just over six minutes remaining, a shot by #25 Abby Asuncion forced the tenth and final save out of Baris but was unable to alleviate the pressure completely. 

Asuncion had one more shot to potentially put the game to rest and her opportunity came as she was able to recollect the rebound. Looking to seize victory on the day in that one moment, she was able to capture the go-ahead-goal slotting her shot past Baris at the far post. With what would prove to be the game winning goal, Asuncion scored the first of her college career. In the five final minutes remaining, the Blue Jays were unable to respond, and the Captains would hold off for the victory, bumping their win streak to three games. A trip up to Mequon, Wisconsin is up next for the Captains where they will be taking on Concordia University as well as Centre College before returning home to host Washington and Lee University on Sept. 21.

~Austin Urch, Staff Writer~


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