(Posted October 26, 2006)

Juniata 3, Alvernia 2 HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Based on how its entire season has gone, the Juniata College field hockey team certainly had to set a new program record for wins in a season with a dramatic finish, and that\'s exactly what the Eagles did as a late second half goal propelled 13th-ranked Juniata past 18th-ranked Alvernia College 3-2 in non-conference action Wednesday afternoon. Juniata improved to 16-2 with the win, while Alvernia dropped to 17-3 with the set-back. With the match tied at two goals apiece with less than 10 minutes to go Kim Wagner (Middletown/Middletown) redirected a blast from Erin Smith (Palmyra/Palmyra) past Alvernia keeper Audrey Hoffman into the cage for the winning score. It was Wagner\'s Division III-leading 31st goal of the season and came with slightly less than eight minutes left in regulation. Alvernia would push for the equalizer earning a penalty corner late in the match but the cross from Jessie Titus skipped past the front of the goal without a stick touching it and Juniata held on for the victory. The 16th win establishes a new Juniata record for wins in a season, with the previous mark of 15 victories coming in 2003 when the Eagles went 15-8. Juniata faced an uphill climb to get the record-breaking win after Alvernia scored just minutes after the match began. Becky Macchione got the ball on her stick in the scoring circle and flipped it into the upper corner in the second minute to put the visitors in front 1-0. Juniata answered in the 29th minute when Sarah Bender (Eastern York/York) knocked home a Meredith Low (Sun Valley/Aston) cross to knot the score. That would remain the score at the end of the first half as the two teams combined for just six shots. The Eagles came out faster in the second half, putting the go-ahead goal on the board two minutes into the half when Wagner found the goal off a feed from Leslie Stern (Red Lion/Felton). This time, Alvernia responded quickly, as a quick counterattack from the Crusaders led to Macchione scoring her second of the game off an assist from Titus. Both teams would have chances the rest of the way, but each keeper was up to the task until the game-winning goal from Wagner. Juniata\'s Abby Funk (Lewisburg/Lewisburg) stopped four shots for Juniata and Hoffman finished with four saves for the Crusaders. Juniata will complete its regular season on Saturday with another non-conference match against a ranked team as the Eagles hit the road to face 15th-ranked Christopher Newport. ###

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