Mansfield applied continuous offensive pressure, but IUP’s lone goal made the difference in a 1-0 final in the home opener at Karl Van Norman Field on Wednesday.
Mansfield drew a pair of penalty corners through the first nine minutes of the first quarter, but was unable to capitalize on the opportunities. In the 10th minute, IUP’s third shot of the game proved to be the difference-maker as Blaise Cugini delivered a pass to a diving Brianna Lubarsky who put the Crimson Hawks ahead.
Mikaila Chakon, Kalin Duke, and Saramae Radel all put shots on goal in the second quarter, but IUP keeper, Lexi Ciano, would not relent. Madison Wilinsky prevented the Hawks from adding another score with her defensive save in the 26th minute of the game.
It was more of the same in the second half for Mansfield, who continued to press forward offensively, but could not find the equalizer. The Mounties registered 10 shots and six penalty corners in the second half alone while holding the Hawks to one corner and one shot.
Hannah Meyer gave outstanding effort to record her first career defensive save late in the fourth quarter, preventing another IUP goal.
The Mounties outshot IUP 15-5 and held a 10-1 advantage on corners in the game. Meghan Griffin totaled a game-high five shots with two on frame.
Mansfield begins a two-game road trip at Seton Hill on Saturday.