VCU field hockey ended their 2016 campaign on a high note after struggling against conference opponents this year. The Rams finished with a 5-5 out of conference record and went 2-6 in Atlantic-10 play.
Junior goalkeeper Chessa Kownurko recorded a shutout on senior day Sunday, Nov. 30 in a 3-0 rout of Missouri State University. The Black and Gold beat conference foe Saint Louis University by a final of 5-1 on Friday, Oct. 28.
The seniors capped off their careers in the Black and Gold on a high note. The Rams beat MSU 3-0 on senior day at Sports Backers Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Sophomore forward Emily McNamara recorded her second hat trick in as many games and raised her goal count to 18 for the season, double the number of goals she recorded during her rookie campaign.
It was a quiet and scoreless first half on both ends. During the first three minutes, MSU junior forward Andrea Soler Codina took the first shot of the day but VCU Kownurko was there to deny her. Kownurko made another save eight minutes later against Soler Codina.
McNamara, who applied constant pressure to the MSU back line all day, took the first shot for VCU but MSU goalkeeper Megan Drew came up with the save. McNamara took two more shots but failed to find the back of the net before the half ended.
At the 42 minute mark, McNamara put VCU on the board for after stealing the ball from top of circle and hitting the shot far post. This was McNamara’s 13th goal of the season.
Over a minute later, McNamara scored the second goal for VCU when she rebounded the ball off of Drew and dribbled around her for a straight shot on net.
McNamara completed her hat trick thanks to an assist from senior defender McKenzie Bowler on a cross.
After Saint Louis took an early lead, the Rams scored the final five goals en route to a 5-1 victory behind McNamara’s three goals. McNamara recorded her first hat trick of the season and added an assist.
The Billikens opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Katie Moss passed to Molly Fied who deflected the shot in from close range.
The Rams evened the game at 1-1 in the 18th minute after a ball played into the circle was controlled by McNamara. Junior forward Jamee Albright was waiting at the back post to complete the play, scoring her fourth goal of the season.
VCU took the lead in the second half at the 36-minute mark. Junior midfielder Spencer Tossone played the ball from the outside circle to McNamara who ripped a shot from the top of the circle to far post.
McNamara scored again a minute later to extend the Rams lead to 3-1. McNamara blew past the Saint Louis defense on a streaking run and beat the keeper head on.
McNamara made it a hat-trick in the 65th minute off another Tossone assist, this time finishing from close range.
VCU closed out the scoring in the 69th minute as senior defender McKenzie Bowler collected the ball of the goalkeeper and made a move to her left and scored on the open net. This was Bowler’s fourth goal of the season.
Kownurko made six saves out of the seven shots she faced against the Billikens.
The Rams decisive 14-3 edge in penalty corners allowed them to outshot Saint Louis 32-12 overall and 13-5 in shots on goal.
Seniors Krystal Mayers, Kelsey Hideshima, Kaylee Maunz, Sydney Weise and Bowler completed their final season as Rams with a 7-11 overall record while going 2-6 in Atlantic-10 play. The senior class finished their final season with seven goals and six assists.
Jessica Wetzler, Contributing Writer