Senior Mackenzie Keegan scored the 100th goal of her career on Tuesday, and the Eastern field hockey team proved once again that it is the team to beat in South Jersey.
With another statement win against a tough division opponent, coach Danyle Heilig and the visiting Vikings celebrated both Keegan's achievement and a dominating 4-0 victory.
"I was just focusing on winning the game, not really the goal," Keegan said after the big event.
Shawnee (12-3, 7-2 division) went into the game in second place in the Olympic Conference American Division, behind only Eastern. Eastern (14-2, 8-0) beat Shawnee, 3-1, earlier in the season but played even better against the Renegades this time around.
"I think today was really just about focusing on us and not focusing on them," Heilig said. "We really had some specific things that we were trying to work on to improve ourselves as a team, and that was really our thought."
Vikings senior Madison Guyer scored the lone goal in the first half, but things opened up for the Eastern offense in the second half.
After the teams kept the play tight for the first 13 minutes of the second half, Eastern freshman Kara Heck scored to push the Vikings' lead to 2-0. Heck's goal was immediately followed by Keegan's career 100th.
"We did a better job in the circle of being ready for rebounds, and I think we capitalized on our opportunities," said Keegan, who was congratulated by her teammates right after the goal.
Heck tacked on her second goal for Eastern later in the half. By that point, the game was out of reach for Shawnee.
Eastern came out with a different attitude in the second half and did not stop putting pressure on Shawnee.
"I think in the first half we played, we were really trying to feel them out and giving them a lot more than we should have been giving them," Heilig said. "I think in the second half we played a whole lot more aggressive."
"In the second half we just clicked, started playing together more and saw each other on the field," Heck said.
A convincing win against a quality opponent like Shawnee can go a long way for a team. But Heilig said she knows there is still plenty of work to be done.
"You want to be playing your best hockey at states, and I think that for us it's just learning from the things we are doing wrong and continuing to grow off of that," she said.
Eastern 1 3 - 4
Shawnee 0 0 - 0
Goals: E- Guyer 1, Heck 2, Keegan 1