By Brian Hoffman
Grace Vernarelli of Roanoke College has been named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference field hockey Athlete of the Week.
Grace started the week with an unassisted goal in the Maroons’ 2-1 ODAC opening win at home against Eastern Mennonite. She followed that up with her first hat trick of the season in Roanoke’s 6-0 win over Ferrum. Vernarelli scored the game-winner just 1:23 into the game and followed up with two more goals in the first quarter.
In the Maroon’s 6-0 win on Saturday over Virginia Wesleyan, Vernarelli assisted on the second goal of the game before scoring her own at 20:25 to put the Maroons ahead 4-0. She has also been a primary force behind two new program records. From September 3 to October 3 the Maroons won six games in a row by shutout, besting the record of five set in 2000. Overall the Maroons have won nine-games in a row, setting a program record for win streak. During that span, Vernarelli scored 10 goals and added five assists.
The nine game win streak came to an end Sunday in Virginia Beach when Christopher Newport shut out the Maroons, 2-0. The Captains got an early goal in the fourth minute to take a 1-0 lead, which they would keep going into halftime. Both teams waged a defensive battle until the Captains got their second goal in the 52nd minute.
Now 9-3 overall and 3-0 in the ODAC, the Maroons have a conference game at Bridgewater on Wednesday night and a home game against Randolph-Macon this Saturday at 4 pm. That will be “Senior Day” for the Maroons at Kerr Stadium in Salem.