By MADDY VITALE
Chloe Prettyman and Nya Gilcrest had already solidified their standing as stellar field hockey players at Ocean City High School.
And on Sunday, the friends who play at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania continued making names for themselves by becoming part of the winning Shippensburg field hockey team in the Division II National Championship.
The Shippensburg Raiders beat West Chester University, 3-0, in the title game at Millersville University’s Biemesderfer Stadium.
“I just feel so excited,” Prettyman, of Ocean City, said in an interview Monday night. “Our team has worked so hard all year to achieve this goal and now it’s our reality.”
Prettyman, 19, a sophomore, called it a “perfect season.” And it was with the Raiders ending with a 20-0 record.
She and Gilcrest, 18, a freshman, both play forward.
“After a COVID year in high school and having to transition to college and collegiate play, winning made all of the hardships worth it,” Gilcrest said. “All of the hard work that was put into it has made this win so unique.”
First the Raiders were the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference champions, and now national champions, Prettyman reflected.
“Everyone has put so much effort into this team to make those goals a reality,” she said. “It is truly amazing to be able to accomplish these wins with my best friends and continue the legacy of Ship field hockey.”
Chloe, whose sister, Phoebe Prettyman, played field hockey at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., and graduated last year, are the daughters of Tiffany Prettyman and Ocean City Police Chief Jay Prettyman.
Jay Prettyman said of their daughter’s win, “We are very proud of her hard work and dedication to her team.”
In recent years, there have only been a few other Ocean City field hockey players who played in college and won a national championship.
Julia Herrington, Abby Woolley and Jaclyn Charbonneau won with West Chester in 2019, according to OCHS field hockey coach Kelsey Mitchell. And Natalie Hunter and Meredith Long were in the D1 National Championships for the University of Maryland.
Also on Sunday, another Ocean City field hockey grad, Alexis Paone, played in the Division I National Championship for Liberty, but lost to Northwestern.
Former Ocean City field hockey player Lauren McNally, who is an assistant coach at Middlebury, won the Division III National Championship on Sunday by beating Johns Hopkins.
“It was a big day for Ocean City field hockey,” Jay Prettyman said.