Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania field hockey team staged a late comeback that fell short against the Earlham College Quakers in a 2-1 loss on Sunday afternoon at Pat Deacon Stadium.
Battling fiercely to shake off an offensive freeze for most of the afternoon, the Pioneers found a breakthrough goal from Harper Zeitz with just under two and a half minutes remaining in regulation to cut a longstanding Earlham lead in half. The final rally ran out of time as Earlham successfully maintained possession, snuffing out Transylvania's final attempts at the equalizing goal.
The exciting finish capped off a day that belonged to both defenses as Earlham improved to 6-5 on the season while the Pioneers dropped to 2-6 overall.
Earlham began the match with sudden momentum as the visiting Quakers logged an opening goal less than two minutes into the contest off a scrum in front of the goal. After Ellie Domato swept away an initial attack, Earlham's Kate Neal claimed the ball via a deflection and slotted in the goal for the first score of the day and a 1-0 lead the held strong for nearly the entirety of the afternoon.
For the rest of the first quarter, each defense stepped up to thwart the other side's best attack with takeaways becoming a common theme of the quarter. The Pioneers earned their first penalty corner of the match with under 20 seconds to go in the first quarter as their offense began to flicker.
The second quarter served as an offensive struggle for both teams but the Pioneers again earned a penalty corner with seconds remaining before halftime. Zeitz's shot off the penalty corner nearly led to the tying goal but the Quakers eventually cleared the ball, translating to a 1-0 halftime score in favor of Earlham.
The Quakers found their insurance goal late in the third quarter off another deflection that the Pioneers were unsuccessful in clearing as Earlham surged ahead, 2-0.
The Pioneers began to string together cohesive attacks as the second half continued while their shot volume increased. Each team finished the match with 10 shots apiece as the Pioneers began to emerge offensively. As Transylvania continued to push numbers upfield, Zeitz took a high-momentum shot which glanced against the back of the net for the lone goal of the day by the Pioneers at the 2:22 mark.
Transylvania now looks ahead to its next match on Saturday, October 12 as the Pioneers head south to the University of the South. The contest against the Sewanee Tigers is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time from Puett Field in the Southern Athletic Association conference-opening match for both teams.
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