COLCHESTER, Vt. - Four different Saint Michael's College field hockey players scored on Thursday, and 14th-year head coach Carla Hesler tied the program record for career victories in a 4-0 win over Franklin Pierce University at Duffy Field. The Purple Knights snapped a three-game losing streak in improving to 2-7, while the Ravens are 2-5. The Northeast-10 Conference foes partook in a non-league contest but will meet again on Oct. 13 in Rindge, N.H.
Hesler's 127th win tied her atop the program's career victories chart with Anne Noone Adams, previously the head coach from 1985 to 1997 and currently in her second season back with the program as an assistant. Seniors Laken Ferreira (Holliston, Mass./Holliston) and Kelly MacDonald (Wayland, Mass./Wayland), sophomore Shannon Rice (West River, Md./Elizabeth Seton) and first-year Megan Deschaine (Claremont, N.H./Stevens) all provided offensive support with a goal apiece, and sophomore Sarah Healey (Canton, Mass./Canton) made two stops for her first college shutout.
First-year Sarah Cote (Athol, Mass./Athol) turned in nine saves for the Ravens, while sophomore Brittany Lepore (Barnstable, Mass./Barnstable) made a defensive stop.
The Purple Knights fired off the only eight shots in the opening half, finishing with a 17-4 advantage for the game, and nearly took a seventh-minute lead thanks to senior Julia Heald (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Brady). On the right side of the circle, Heald fired the ball toward the lower left portion of the cage, but a prone Cote reached back with her right arm to sweep the shot away.
In the 28th minute, the hosts broke the scoreless tie. From just outside the top of the arc, senior back Erin Brien (Nahant, Mass./Newton Country Day School) poked a loose ball toward the right side of the net, where Deschaine redirected the pass just beyond Cote at 27:40.
Healey was tested early in the second half as the Ravens looked to tie, stopping a long hit with an attacker at the doorstep preparing for a rebound, before denying a tipped pass in the 39th minute. Rice netted her third goal of the year in the 44th minute, pouncing on a rebound after Cote made a save, and the hosts killed off a five-minute player disadvantage soon thereafter, during which time Healey turned away another point-blank opportunity.
Saint Michael's pulled away with a pair of goals during the final 10:16, first when Ferreira grabbed a loose ball following Lepore's defensive save during the 60th minute. MacDonald tacked on a marker at 65:03, receiving a back-handed sweep from junior Courtney Bedell (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) at the left post and slipping a shot home.
The Purple Knights next head to Stonehill College on Saturday for a 12 p.m. contest.