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Oct. 24, 2015 — Lynchburg 3, Shenandoah 2

POSTGAME That’s all for now; good day, good hockey

POSTGAME There is now a tie at the top of the league table and it will come down to the final week to see who will host the conference tournament, much less participate in it

POSTGAME It was also very competitive and evenly-matched, with the only difference being that Lynchburg made its penalty stroke, while Shenandoah’s stroke was saved

POSTGAME This was a wild game, with both teams playing a brand of attacking hockey that their defenses were seemingly unable to stop. Large amounts of space were available in the back

FULL TIME At the horn, Lynchburg takes a 3-2 win

69:00 Last minute of play and Lynchburg is taking the air out of the ball, maintaining possession

67:00 LC PC Eye-high dragflick gloved by Brown

60:00 SU PC Deflected by Kayla Krause

58:46 LC PS And Sinhao rifles it in to give Lynchburg a 3-2 lead

58:46 Lynchburg attacks up the left wing and the Shenandoah defense goes to ground to stop the ball from going into the open goal; a stroke is duly called

57:45 LC PC Saved by Jessica Brown

56:41 SU GREEN Bailey is off for two minutes; could this be a key juncture here?

56:05 Timeout, Lynchburg

54:45 SU PC Saved by Hess

46:51 Lynchburg appears to pinball it in off Isabella Eldridge’s stick, but it is disallowed for advancing

43:58 SU GOAL Kayla Alderman is gifted a ball in the circle and slices between two defenders and Hess to get the ball in the cage! What a game! We are tied 2-2!

35:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME Instructive to note: during Shenandoah’s nine-game winning streak, three of the wins came in extra time. Shenandoah wants to get one more goal to get that opportunity once again

HALFTIME These teams have thrown defensive caution to the wind; there is plenty of space for both teams to exploit should they wish. Lynchburg is doing better on defense thanks to Hess and Krause

HALFTIME At the horn, Lynchburg has a 2-1 lead

34:59 LC PC Copeman’s blast is deflected wide!

29:35 SU PS Pardo takes the stroke and Beka Hess makes a diving blocker stop! What a save!

29:35 Play is on the extreme right wing and a stroke is called for a bad tackle; not your usual strokeable offense since it did not appear to deny an obvious lane to goal

29:00 SU GREEN Keilani Bailey is off for two minutes

28:30 SU PC And the shot is intercepted and cleared!

28:00 SU PC Deflected high by poster Heuberger; will reset

27:03 LC YELLOW Katissa LaMaire is off for five minutes

25:00 Shenandoah with some pressure, but Hannah Krause of Lynchburg — the shortest player on the pitch — is having a good game at holding midfield

20:30 SU PC Pardo with a bouncing ball towards the cage; judged to be dangerous

15:28 LC GREEN And just like that, Ashley Heuberger is sent to the sin bin to even up the sides

15:01 SU GREEN Merritt is off for two minutes

14:15 LC PC Diagonal pass off a Shenandoah ankle and over the end line for a long hit

13:08 LC PC Catherine Rogerson rescues the corner and finds a wide-open Kayla Copeman at the stroke mark; Lynchburg leads 2-1

6:10 LC PC and GOAL Nikki Simpao flips a hopeful ball that bunts off of Shenandoah’s Presha Merritt and into the mesh! Game tied 1-1 with an exchange of the oddest goals you will ever see

4:04 SU GOAL Elizabeth Pardo drifts in from the left wing, and banks it in off Lynchburg defender Kayla Krause! A dream start for Shenandoah as it takes a 1-0 lead!

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME Shenandoah is in the navy with white numerals, Lynchburg in the white tops with black kilts

PREGAME The teams are warming up on the rubber-based turf under partly-cloudy skies, temperatures around 60 degrees with a light breeze

PREGAME Winchester is in Frederick County, only a couple of counties over from Loudoun, which may start varsity field hockey as early as next year. Perhaps a successful tournament on the part of Shenandoah will entice more non-traditional areas to add the sport

PREGAME Now, the second reason this game is important: the expansion of the game. Smeltzer-Kraft has coached Potomac Field Hockey, the group that has lobbied to bring field hockey to Loudoun County, Va., one of the fastest growing parts of the United States

PREGAME The moment is this game: Shenandoah, if it wins today and its final game at Bridgewater on Wednesday, would be the ODAC regular-season champion, and would be in the drivers’ seat for an AQ berth for the NCAA Tournament; something unimaginable less than a decade ago when the team was capable of winning only once a season

PREGAME But the coaching of Kim Iman and current head coach Ashley Smeltzer-Craft have turned this program around the last few years in preparation for this moment

PREGAME There area couple of reasons this game is important. One is the remarkable story about the turnaround of the fortunes of this Shenandoah program. The team only won 10 games in its first six seasons of play

PREGAME Lynchburg is 12-3, 3-1 in ODAC, and ranked No. 11 in NCAA Division III; Shenandoah is 10-4, 5-0 in ODAC play

PREGAME Hello, and welcome to Shentel Stadium in Winchester, Va. for this Old Dominion Athletic Conference regular-season match between Lynchburg College and host Shenandoah University

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