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Hockey Rolls Past Royals

The Shenandoah University field hockey team has all but locked up a berth in the upcoming ODAC Tournament thanks to a 3-0 win at Eastern Mennonite Wednesday evening.
The Shenandoah University field hockey team has all but locked up a berth in the upcoming ODAC Tournament thanks to a 3-0 win at Eastern Mennonite Wednesday evening.

HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Shenandoah University field hockey team has all but clinched a spot in the upcoming ODAC Tournament thanks to a 3-0 win at Eastern Mennonite Wednesday evening.

The Hornets (8-7, 2-3 ODAC) are now tied for fifth with Randolph-Macon with two games remaining in the conference slate.

The top six teams in the league make the post-season tournament and Shenandoah holds the head-to-header tie-breaker over the Yellow Jackets. Seventh place Virginia Wesleyan visits Sprint Field at Shentel Stadium Saturday and a win over the Marlins in that 2:00 Senior Day contest will punch Shenandoah's ticket to the sixth straight trip to the tourney.

Coach Ashley Smeltzer-Kraft's club can rise as far as fourth in the league standings with wins over VWU as well as Bridgewater in the regular season finale on October 28.

In that case, the Hornets would host a quarterfinal round game on Halloween.

Megan Stevens got what proved to be the game-winner by knocking home her own rebound in the 31st minute.

Morgan Payne and Whitney Ross scored second half goals, in the 55th and 65th minutes, respectively, to allow Shenandoah to coast home to the victory.

Taylor Hayes assisted on Payne's goal at 54:48 and Daphne Leighty on Ross' tally at 64:11.

Isabella Morande had to make just two saves in earning the shutout – SU outshot the Royals 34-8 and had a 10-3 advantage in penalty corners.

"We knew we needed to get a result tonight for ODAC standings," Smeltzer-Kraft said. "I am proud of the effort and fight from my team, and am looking forward to celebrating our seniors at our next game against Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday."

Eastern Mennonite falls to 3-10 overall and 0-7 in the ODAC with the loss.

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