Even though the weather was chilly, Eastern’s field hockey team came onto the field burning to beat the visiting King’s on November 6. The Eagles heated up the turf and torched the Monarchs with a 3-0 win, securing their spot in the first round of the NCAA tournament on November 10.
Best part: Saturday’s game was a rematch of last year’s MAC Freedom finals with the same result.
The #8 Eagles soared to victory on the backs of three goals, two of which were made in the first half. Sophomore Brittany Moyer made the first goal with an assist from junior Yvonne Herbster within the first twelve minutes. The second goal was scored by senior Lisa Gocht with an assist from Moyer towards the end of the half. The final goal was a blistering shot from Herbster early in the second half, the third nail in King’s coffin.
“Before the game, we knew we had to play hard,” Herbster said. “We told each other that we needed to play our best game ever, and we did.”
The finals are not, however, the only example of field hockey displaying their “best game ever.” Throughout the year, the Eagles have posted incredible finishes, resulting in an overall record of 19-2 and a perfect MAC record.
All of their hard work was rewarded when the All-Freedom squads were released. Nine players were placed on the first and second teams, a program-best for Eastern. Moyer, Herbster, senior Sarah Garber and junior Danielle Danser were named on the first-team. First-year Jess Jaindl, also named Rookie of the Year, was assigned to the second-team along with senior Kim Campbell, junior Christin Haas, sophomore Kelby Bolton and senior Laura Ressler.
Garber was also awarded tournament MVP.
“Everyone gave their most during the game,” Ressler said. The goalkeeper also leads the Freedom Conference in Goals against Average, Save Percentage, Wins and Shutouts.
Head coach Camrin Azzarano, who was awarded the Coach of the Year award, said that her players “have a lot of determination and believe in themselves.”
“What we’ve done this year make [the NCAA tournament] a little interesting, but we just want to keep doing what we’ve been doing and make the most of the opportunity,” Azzarano said.
The players agree with Azzarano’s idea. “I don’t usually like morning practices, but I’m very excited to practice in the morning this week,” Ressler said. “It means we get to play another practice together as a team.”