Sept. 24, 2011
MERION STATION, Pa. - It was a tale of two halves rolled into one as the Saint Joseph's field hockey team lost a heartbreaker to Delaware, 5-4, in the first game played at the new Ellen Ryan Field on Saturday afternoon. Freshman Jordan Martin scored two goals while senior Ellen Rowe added a pair of assists.
The teams opened the facility with an evenly matched and scoreless first half. Once the second half got underway, however, the goals came in bunches.
Saint Joseph's (2-5) broke through first as Rowe and senior Rachel Walsh connected to feed a penalty corner pass to senior Theresa Testa, who scored her first goal of the season to christen the new turf.
Martin followed 31 seconds later with her third of the season, spinning around one defender before taking a shot that deflected off another and over UD goalkeeper Noelle Diana.
Freshman Nicole Gerdes then tallied the first goal of her career 34 seconds after that, tipping a long pass from Rowe into the cage to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead.
The advantage swelled to four when Martin took a loose ball near midfield and went in alone on goal, going around Diana before blasting a shot into the cage with 18:12 to go.
Delaware (5-4) found its stride very late in the match, getting on the board on a goal from Taylor Claybrook with 8:29 to go. Hannah Pepper then tipped a long ball from Kelsey McKee past SJU keeper Liz Messaros to get the Blue Hens back within two with 5:33 remaining.
Claybrook struck again two minutes later on an assist from Amanda McCardell to cut the margin to a single goal before Melissa LeNoir knotted things up with 1:37 left on the clock.
With 12.3 seconds to go, McKee was awarded a penalty stroke that she sent up and over Messaros to put Delaware in front. The Hawks had one last attempt, but the Blue Hen defense held to prevent the tying goal.
The end result overshadowed the opening of Ryan Field and the first game on the newly constructed fields on the Maguire Campus. The Hawks will play their final five home games on the pitch before the Atlantic 10 Field Hockey Championship returns to Hawk Hill in November.
Saint Joseph's will be back in action at Ryan Field on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. for a game against 12th-ranked California.