Video by Rachel Levy, Sports Editor
Shenandoah University men opened their home season against Hood College with a 9-4 win on Feb. 25.
The first quarter of the game was a lot of back and forth action with goalies on both sides coming up with big saves. The Hornets took an early 2-0 lead with goals from senior Stephen LaTona and sophomore Michael Brooks.
Senior Tilghman Sanders looked like he’d get the next goal of the game when he almost had a breakaway shot. Sanders checked the ball away from a Hood defender down by the Hood defensive end with no one else between Sanders and the goal but he got called for a penalty on the check. Hood College got the ball back but wasn’t able to capitalize on the possession when Hornet junior Sam Gerhart played a solid defense and kept them out from in front of the goal.
Sophomore Eric Sawyer broke the dry spell with a goal at 1:42 left in the quarter. With 14 seconds left in the quarter the Hornets had a chance to extend their lead with a shot off of a penalty but shot wide.
The second quarter started with a possession by Hood College for over two minutes until freshman Zack Zimmerman made a close interception to get the ball back, but unfortunately turned it back over only a few seconds later. Hood College picked the ball up and made a quick shot back on cage but senior goalie Ben Judy was ready for the save.
Judy a shot but Judy came up with another big save, and won the fight for the rebound in the air. His height helped him reach the ball right above a Hood attacker’s stick, then run behind goal looking for the pass out of the defensive end. Shenandoah took the ball back up to their attacking end and Sanders scored with a goal to the top corner.
After the goal, the Blazers came right back and scored to bring the score to 4-3 Shenandoah, but the Hornets weren’t letting them tie it up. Right after the Hood goal, Shenandoah had a pass-pass-attack play where they passed the ball from the 50-yard line to the 30-yard line to Schott on the crease able to put an easy goal in. With this goal the men were able to pull ahead to a two-goal lead.
The Hornets ended the second quarter strong with a big save by Judy where he made the save while falling to the ground. He was able to keep the ball and get it to the attackers where Schott scored another goal.
The third quarter started with a series of shots by Hood and saves by Judy. After the third rebound, Shenandoah finally picked up the ground ball for their first possession of the quarter. During this possession Sanders fed from behind the goal to LaTona who was able to score with a quick stick shot at the top of the crease.
The Hornets scored again after an interception by freshman Morgan Robinson began their possession. He got the ball to the attack that shot but rebounded. LaTona fought hard for the groundball chasing it all the way to the sideline with a Hood defender. LaTona won the ground ball and gave Shenandoah another long possession that ultimately ended with another goal by Sanders.
The fourth quarter had only one goal but many stoppages. The first of which was with 10:36 left and the Hood player fell to the ground. He was defending against Sanders around the crease and went to push Sanders but ended up falling himself. The game had to be stopped as trainers came out to him because he wasn’t moving while on the ground. After a few minutes the trainers were able to get him standing again and brought him off the field.
After that the game went back and forth with many saves by both goalies. One of which was Judy using his head to block a shot.
With 6:16 left the other interruption happened when the game had to be delayed 30 minutes for lightning. The game resumed but the momentum in the fourth quarter stayed lowed. The first shot since the delay was with 4:27 left and Judy made another big save.
After the delay there were no more goals but Judy ended with two big saves with less than a minute left to help keep the Hornets ahead.
Judy had 20 saves throughout the game. Sanders had the most points during the game with two goals and five assists and LaTona was able to pull out a hat trick for the game with three goals. Even though Shenandoah won the game they lost in face-offs only winning one of 17 during the game. Their next game will at Delaware Valley College on March 1.