A Freshman from Amsterdam scored the winning goal Friday that moved the Raiders field hockey team into tomorrow’s national championship finals. Tess Jedeloo (Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Hervormd Lyceum Zuid) scored two goals, including the game-winner with 1:59 remaining.
The No. 1 Shippensburg University field hockey team rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit to defeat No. 4 East Stroudsburg, 2-1, in the 2021 NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championship Semifinals at Millersville University’s Chryst Field at Biemesderfer Stadium.
Shippensburg (19-0) advances to face No. 3 West Chester at 1 p.m. Sunday in the 2021 NCAA National Championship game after the Golden Rams defeated No. 2 Assumption, 3-0, in Friday’s first semifinal.
How it happened
East Stroudsburg (16-5), appearing in the NCAA Semifinals for the fifth time in the last six seasons, took a 1-0 lead into halftime after Celeste Veenstra scored less than a minute before the intermission.
“ESU played a fantastic game; their game plan defensively was really tough and we knew that coming into this game that it will be a very difficult game because every time we play against ESU we are rivals and it’s a battle,” head coach Tara Zollinger said.
The Raiders evened the match in the third quarter when Jedeloo scored her fifth goal of the season by converting a breakaway off a long feed from graduate Caitlyn Wink (Princess Anne, Md./Delmar). Jedeloo’s second goal, a rocket in the arc off a feed from graduate Sarah Womer (Churchville, Pa./Council Rock South), was her first career game-winning goal.
“They train a down-one mindset,” Zollinger said. “We’ve been training it for the last month to what are we going to do when we are down one, and they proved it. They proved it in two really difficult games against conference rivals, so we were confident that they would rely from that experience. When you have that belief you can back it up with hard work, they’re going to get it done, and this team is extremely hard-working. We were confident they would find that equalizer.”
Rallying from a deficit
Shots on goal finished 9-4 in SU’s favor and penalty corners were 9-3 in SU’s favor. The Raiders successfully defended a penalty corner in the fourth quarter during a span in which they were down one player due to a five-minute penalty. Freshman Lindsay Tripodo (Gibbsboro, N.J./Eastern Regional) made several key defensive plays in the game and finished with three saves.
Friday’s win marked the third consecutive game in which Shippensburg rallied from a 1-0 deficit to claim a victory. The Raiders came from behind to defeat Millersville in the PSAC Semifinals, 2-1 in overtime, and West Chester in the PSAC Finals, 3-1.
“During the PSAC Tournament, we came back from behind, and we were losing today too,” senior Jazmin Petrantonio said. “It was the resiliency and the intangibles that this team carries. We always talk about, ‘It’s not about us (or) the 11 players on the field; it’s not about us as a team (or) about the staff; it is about the people that came before us and all those that are coming after us.’
“We are playing for every single one of them.”
Sunday will mark the first time Shippensburg and West Chester play against each other for a NCAA Division II National Championship. It will be just the second time since 1998 that two PSAC teams face each other for the national championship. (SHIP defeated ESU in 2018).
It will be the fourth meeting between the two teams in NCAA Division II Tournament history; West Chester holds a 2-1 edge all-time. The two teams last met in the 2018 national semifinals in Pittsburgh, a game claimed by the Raiders, 4-0.
It will also be the fourth meeting of the season between the two teams. SU has won all three of the previous meetings this season: 4-3 at West Chester on Sept. 11, 4-0 at Shippensburg on Oct. 5, and 3-1 on Nov. 7 in the PSAC Championship game.