SHIPPENSBURG, Pa.– The Shippensburg University Field Hockey team won the Division II National Championship Sunday, capping the season with a 2-1 victory over LIU Post.
The Red Raiders opened the game with an early goal as junior Emily Barnard scored only seven minutes into the first half. That score stood until the second half, when senior Katelyn Grazan gave the Raiders a 2-0 lead with 8:50 remaining in the game.
LIU Post would make it close by adding a tally with 4:14 remaining in the game, but the Red Raiders’ defense stood tall to seal the victory for the team.
“It was our team philosophy of passing the ball and playing together as a team,” head coach Bertie Landes told Shippensburg University Sports Information. “We were very committed and focused on using each other and everyone doing their job. Together, we could succeed.”
The title run caps an emotional season for the Red Raiders, who had previously dedicated the year to former player and coach Amanda Strous.
Strous, 27, played and coached with the Red Raiders for periods of time from 2007-2013. She was murdered inside her Charlotte, North Carolina apartment in June.
The Red Raiders hung her #22 jersey at Robb Sports Complex all season, and used the hashtag #FlyHigh22 in a way to commemorate her. Shippensburg University also began a Strous Scholarship in honor of her playing and coaching careers.
“The road that this team took was very tough,” Landes said. “With Strous’s death, the only way we could honor her was to live our lives. This senior class, and this team, just wanted to leave a legacy. A life lived every day, with love for each other, caring, concern, and a lot of laughter.”