COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Junior goalkeeper Jules Singer did her best to keep the No. 7 Ursinus College field hockey team in contention against a relentless Messiah squad, but eventually the defending national champions wore down the Bears' defenses and came away with a 3-0 victory in a rainy showdown of Division III heavyweights.
Singer made 10 saves for Ursinus (1-1), including a pair of back-to-back sequences in the second half that gave the home side a fighting chance. In the end, the first of two goals by Carissa Gehman late in the first half was enough to stand up before the top-ranked Falcons tacked on two more in the final two minutes and change.
Messiah (2-0) stretched its regular-winning winning streak to 29 games and snapped Ursinus' 17-game unbeaten run on Snell Field against Division III foes.
The Falcons dominated on both ends, holding the Bears without a shot while racking up 21 of their own and posting a 9-1 advantage in penalty corners. Still, thanks to Singer's brilliance, Messiah found itself mired in a scoreless deadlock until Gehman pounced on an Ursinus mistake, chasing down a pass back toward the Bears' cage and rocketing a shot to the top left corner of the net for a 1-0 Falcons lead.
Messiah threatened to double its lead early in the second stanza before Singer came up with two huge saves, coming out to stone Gehman on a breakaway and parry aside the three-time All-American's rebound effort as well.
Ursinus survived five corners in short succession midway through the period, and Singer produced two more remarkable stops just shy of eight minutes remaining. The Bears had one decent scoring opportunity, but a crossing pass from the left side of the circle was just out of reach of senior Brooke Overly's stick.
Messiah finally added some insurance with 2:02 to play. Singer was able to stop the initial blast off a corner, but Taylor Holt was there to tap in the rebound. Forty-one seconds later, Kezia Loht connected with Gehman in transition for a 3-0 final.
Singer's ten saves gave her back-to-back games with double-digit saves to open the season.
The field hockey team looks to bounce back against another ranked foe, traveling to No. 20 William Smith for a 12 p.m. contest on Saturday.