Field Hockey Wins Big Against Washington

Friday, October 4, 2013

Ray Gallagher is normally known for her defense. The stalwart junior back was up to her usual tricks against Washington College, helping the Muhlenberg field hockey team continue its shutout streak. The offense was just unexpected gravy.

Ray Gallagher Gallagher scored her first career goal and assisted on another, making an impact on both ends of the field and pushing the Mules to a 4-0 victory against a team that has been in the Centennial Conference playoffs the last three years. With her parents in the stands, Gallagher came through with an unexpected and unforgettable performance.

“I can’t even handle it,” Gallagher (right) said after recording the first points of her career. “They were all making fun of me on the sideline because my face was just my jaw dropping. I’m really glad that my mom and dad were here to see it. It feels great being a defender and getting on the board.”

Gallagher and the Mules (4-6, 3-2) had plenty of reasons to smile on an unseasonably humid night, not the least of which was playing at home for the first time in three weeks. Juniors Kayleigh Thies and Christine Germaske scored goals, and Gallagher set up the final tally of the night by junior Lauren Jordan, who scored her second goal in as many games late in the second half .

After helping the Mules extend their unscored-upon streak to 173 minutes, all Gallagher wanted to talk about was her surprising offensive outburst. Her watershed goal, which came in the 54th minute, wasn’t necessarily intended to find the back of the cage. When it did, Gallagher knew it was her night.

“I was just trying to do something,” Gallagher recalled. “There was play in the circle, and the ball was trickling to the top of the circle where I was hanging out. I took it, carried left, and gave a really hard push pass. It just went right into the corner.”

Lauren Jordan After going more than two years without a goal, Gallagher nearly scored again less than three minutes later. Her hard shot caromed off the goalie’s chest and came back out to her. She hit the ball back toward the cage, and Jordan redirected it in. Jordan (left) scored her first goal of the season in Wednesday’s 6-0 blanking at Bryn Mawr.

Not to be outdone, junior Sierra Lenker stopped five shots to post her second shutout. The junior keeper stoned a Washington player on the doorstep late in the first half and got plenty of help from the Mules in front of her to preserve the shutout.

“Being strong defenders and stepping up to the ball is key,” Gallagher said. “You scramble the offense, and you get some transition going while you’re on defense.”

Muhlenberg’s offense looked far from scrambled. Thies put the Mules on top in the 13th minute, weaving her way through the Shorewomen defense and watching her shot trickle through the goalie’s legs for her seventh goal of the season, and the 23rd of her career. Germaske doubled the advantage just over three minutes into the second half, as the junior took a pass from senior Mariah Alston placed a shot into the left corner of the net for her third tally of the year. (corrected 10/7/13) That set the stage for Gallagher and her unexpected night.

Now over the .500 mark in Centennial Conference play, the Mules are ready to make some noise. Though Muhlenberg hasn’t had a winning CC record since 2007, Gallagher has a feeling that could all change soon.

“I can’t wait,” Gallagher said, “to take it to the rest of the conference.”
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