The St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) field hockey team is beginning Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) play amidst one of their best starts in program history. The Seahawks began their 2019 campaign on a very impressive 10-0 run. During this stretch, SMCM posted six shutouts and outscored their opponents 34-5. The last game in this impressive winning streak came against Neumann University on Oct. 5. This game took place on Hawktoberfest weekend, in front of many former alumni of SMCM. The Seahawks really dominated this matchup, as they cruised to a 5-0 victory. First year midfielder Kelly Emge began the scoring barrage for SMCM, with a goal in the fourteenth minute. Emge scored again in the second quarter and then sophomore forward Rachel Lansbury scored in the third to bring the score to 3-0. First year forward Celina Kauffman and junior midfielder Emily Pulkowski found the back of the cage to conclude scoring for the Seahawks on the day. On defense SMCM held very strong, not allowing a single shot by a Neumann player, according to smcmathletics.com.
The Seahawks went into their next match against Stevenson University with their impressive 10-0 record. The first quarter did not go well for either team, as they both failed to capitalize on opportunities. This changed when Stevenson was able to score in the seventeenth minute. This set more of a fire under the Seahawks in the second half, as they outshot Stevenson 6-0 in the third quarter. However, Stevenson was then able to hold SMCM to no shots in the fourth quarter, handing the Seahawks their first loss of the season.
The Stevenson game was the last out-of-conference game of the year for SMCM, with CAC play beginning on Oct. 12 versus Salisbury University. This was quite a way to begin the CAC season, as Salisbury was ranked number three in the nation at that time. In just the first ten minutes of the game, Salisbury had already scored two goals. The Seahawk defense was able to button-up and halt the scoring at that, but had trouble themselves on the offensive side of the ball. SMCM failed to record a shot until the fourth quarter of the game. They ended up falling 2-0, yet the score could have been much more lopsided had the defense not played so well. Senior goalkeeper Kelbey Egerland finished with nine saves on the day, and the defense only allowed Salisbury to convert on two of their fifteen total shots, according to smcmathletics.com.
This two game losing streak did not deter the Seahawks at all, as they traveled down to take on Southern Virginia University (SVU) for their second CAC matchup of the year. SVU really had no answer for the Seahawk offense on the day. Kaufman opened up the scoring for SMCM with a goal just over one minute into the first quarter. Her goal came off of a great assist from sophomore midfielder Gabrielle Corder. Junior midfielder Meghan Ronan, sophomore forward Annika McCallum, and sophomore forward Kathleen Stevens all went on to score in just a six minute span to bring the score to 4-0. In the second quarter, the Seahawks once again conceded no goals and converted on two of their own by sophomore defenders Sophie Carlson and Makayla Illemszy. The Seahawks went on to cap off their scoring two more goals in the last two quarters. These goals were by junior forward Hannah Dietrich (third quarter) and sophomore forward Erika Schutt. This allowed the Seahawks to cruise to an impressive 8-0 victory. It was the most goals scored by SMCM in a game since a match against Eastern Mennonite University in 2015, according to smcmathletics.com.
SMCM will round out the month of October with their final three CAC games. These will be against York College of Pennsylvania, the University of Mary Washington, and Christopher Newport University. The CAC tournament will begin on Nov. 2.