SHAUN FLYNN/THE EAGLE
Sophomore forward Christine Fingerhuth was named the Patriot League tournament most valuable player after she scored the game-tying goal in the Eagles’ 5-2 victory over the Bucknell University Bison during the team’s sixth-straight Patriot League field hockey championship Sunday.
Despite the final score, the Eagles had to fight for its crown. The Bison took an early 1-0 lead when sophomore midfielder Morgan Kauffman rocketed a shot past Eagle junior goalie Alyssa Poorman in the 17th minute. The Eagles struggled early to find the back of the box, as they only connected on one of six shots in the first half.
The Bison, on the other hand, took only two shots in the first half, and they scored on both. With a strong Bison fan base in attendance, every Bucknell attack sent their fans into a frenzy. By the time the first half whistle blew, they had kept the Eagles’ offense at bay and led 2-1.
The Bison would not score for the rest of the game though, as the Eagles entered the field in the second half with the back of the Bison goal on their minds. Fingerhuth led the initial attack, scoring in the first four minutes of the second half off of an assist from senior attacker, and recently named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and Scholar Athlete of the Year, Irene Schickhardt.
A barrage of goals ensued. Junior forward Savannah Graybill, senior midfielder Megan Henry and sophomore midfielder Anne van Erp all followed Fingerhuth’s lead, as the Eagles finished the game connecting on five of 10 shots on both Bucknell goalies, junior Jessie Atieh and freshman Sarah Zargarpour. Freshman defender Natalie Ellenberger scored the Eagles’ loan first half goal.
All in all, the Eagles outscored their opponents 10-3 in their wins over Colgate University in the first round of the tournament and Bucknell in the finals. Graybill, Schickhardt and Van Erp joined Fingerhuth on the Patriot League all-tournament team, as these players, as well as the rest of the team, helped preserve the AU field hockey dynasty.
The Eagles finished the season ranked 16th in the nation with a 10-7 overall record. The Eagles look to make some noise and continue their success in the upcoming NCAA tournament.