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March 25, 2023 2:14 pm

Mount Olive defeats highest-ranked opponent in program history

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The University of Mount Olive field hockey team tallied two goals in the first quarter to upset No. 6 nationally-ranked Converse in a 2-1 victory on Oct. 22 in South Atlantic Conference play.

With the win, the Trojans extended their winning streak to nine straight and improved to 9-2 in division with a 9-0 mark in league action. Mount Olive has now claimed victories in the last two meetings against Converse and earned its highest-ranked win in program history. Meanwhile, the Valkyries suffered their first loss of the year and fell to 9-1 behind a 6-1 record in conference play.

Converse drew a penalty corner in the opening minute of the contest, but the UMO defense kept the match scoreless after blocking a pair of shots. At the 3:04 mark, the Trojans earned a penalty corner and scored the initial goal seconds later off the stick of sophomore Morgan Paterson with the assists registered by sophomores Amber Dercksen and Celine  de Witt for a 1-0 lead.

Under two minutes later, the Valkyries answered and tied the contest at 1-1 on a goal by freshman Larissa Stanjeck off an assist by fellow freshman Josephine Jense. At the 12:46 mark, the Trojans regained the advantage at 2-1 off a penalty corner, as freshman June Schuurman scored her fourth goal of the year, with an assist earned by de Witte.

In the second quarter, UMO registered a pair of penalty corners and saw two shots in the span of a minute saved by the Converse goalkeeper. The Trojan defense held the Valkyries to zero shots in the quarter and took the one-goal lead into halftime.

Mount Olive generated four penalty corners in the third, but managed only one shot in the 33rd minute from sophomore Annefluer Moerkerken, which was stopped. In the fourth, Paterson attempted to add to the lead at the 47:05 mark before her shot was saved by the Converse goalie. The UMO defense overwhelmed the Valkyries in the final 15 minutes by holding them to zero shots to claim the road win.

Sophomore goalkeeper Alanna Barrett tallied one save on just four shots attempted in 60 minutes of action. The Mount Olive backline held Converse to a season-low four shots after they entered the contest averaging 22.4 shots per game.

The Trojans out-shot the Valkyries by a 7-4 margin, including a 6-2 lead in shots on goal, while boasting an 11-3 edge in penalty corners.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics