COLCHESTER, Vt. - Mansfield University and nationally-ranked Shippensburg University both won on Saturday at Saint Michael's College's DoubleTree Fall Classic at Duffy Field. In the season openers for all four squads involved, Mansfield knocked off the homestanding Purple Knights, 4-2, before the Raiders downed Southern Connecticut State University, 5-0. It marks the fourth straight season the four programs are playing together in a season-opening tournament.
In its first home tournament game since 2006, Saint Michael's received goals from senior Hali Roy (South Pomfret, Vt./Woodstock Union) and sophomore Louise Gibbs (Shelburne, Vt./Champlain Valley Union), with Gibbs potting the first of her career. Classmate Sarah Healey (Canton, Mass./Canton) made six saves in her first career start, while junior Caroline Casper (Norfolk, Mass./Thayer Academy) and sophomore Aubrey Deavitt (Shelburne, Vt./Champlain Valley Union) each turned in a defensive stop.
Senior Kristyn Grunza (Nicholson, Pa./Lackawanna Trail) played a role in three of the Mounties' markers, scoring one and assisting a pair. A trio of teammates also found the back of the net, while junior Kristie Rollman (Forty Fort, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) made 12 saves.
Grunza scored in the 16th minute to give Mansfield the first lead, carrying into the circle unmarked before hitting the back of the cage, but Roy knotted the game at 22:58 off a direct corner. Senior Erin Brien (Nahant/Newton Country Day School) and first-year Megan Deschaine (Claremont, N.H./Stevens) provided the assists.
The contest remained tied into the 48th minute before Mansfield pulled away with three tallies in a matter of 10:04. Grunza assisted junior Brianna Velepec (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport) and senior Kristy Tutorow (Shickshinny, Pa./Northwest Area) at 47:16 and 51:04, respectively, before sophomore Lacey Croasdale (Nicholson, Pa./Lackawanna Trail) knocked a loose ball into the right side at 57:20. The Purple Knights got one goal back 1:59 after Croasdale's strike, with sophomore Jackie Dunn (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) lifting a ball over an onrushing Rollman and Gibbs tipping home the pass on the far side.
In the second contest, junior Bre White (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) netted a hat trick for Shippensburg, which is ranked fourth nationally by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). Senior Ciarra Delost (Pasadena, Md./Archbishop Spalding) made two first-half saves for the win, junior Carenna Neely (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor) had four in the second stanza, and sophomore Kacy Beck (Lehighton, Pa./Lehighton) added a defensive stop.
The Owls, who matched the Raiders with three first-half penalty corners and were only outshot 8-4 in the opening stanza, received a defensive save from first-year Anna Marcucilli (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire). Classmate Audrey Dolloff (Raynham, Mass./Bridgewater-Raynham Regional) made 12 stops.
White scored in the fifth and 15th minutes to stake her team to a lead it never relinquished, and junior Taylor Bender (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin/Longwood) made it 3-0 at 29:55. White completed her hat trick at 39:09, and senior Amanda Burridge (Ephrata, Pa./Ephrata) connected on a 54th-minute penalty corner to complete the scoring.
Action at the tournament concludes tomorrow when the Purple Knights oppose Shippensburg at 11 a.m., and Mansfield and Southern Connecticut State square off at 1:30 p.m.