NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – For fans in attendance at Manchester University’s Senior Day celebration Saturday, Oct. 28, there was offense and plenty of it between the host Spartans and Earlham College.
The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foes put up a combined seven goals, 4 assists, 41 overall shots and 23 shots on goal on the Good Field pitch. Coach Christine Johnson’s side was in control of the shot categories holding a 31-10 overall and 17-6 on goal advantage.
Due to that large margin, the Black and Gold was able to get its home crowd on their feet early and often. Senior midfielder Courtney Hersick (Plymouth, Ind.) struck the first successful salvo in 14th minute to break the scoreless tie, while junior midfielder/forward Maranda Birmingham (Kouts, Ind.) answered with back-to-back goals in the 28th and 50thminutes for a 3-1 lead. As the clock wound down in the second half, it appeared as if MU would wind up its season with back-to-back wins.
However, a determined Earlham side found its offensive footing in the final 20 minutes. Chloe Lomanzo turned in a hat trick, which began in the first half, and Jordan Blackburne concluded the comeback with a close-range shot that found its way into the back of the net with less than five minutes remaining for the lead and eventual 4-3 victory.
Birmingham and Hersick, playing together for the final time in Black and Gold uniforms, proved difficult on the visiting defense. They combined for 19 shots, 11 of which were on frame, three goals and an assist. Manchester University’s defeat ended their season at 1-15-1 overall and 1-7-1 versus the conference.