Field hockey turns in stout defensive effort, falls to No. 2 Shippensburg, 1-0

Field hockey turns in stout defensive effort, falls to No. 2 Shippensburg, 1-0

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Saint Michael's College field hockey team yielded only a 53rd-minute tally to No. 2 Shippensburg (Pa.) University, the defending NCAA Tournament champion, during a 1-0 loss in its season opener on Saturday at the Dora Metrelis Field Hockey Classic at Southern Connecticut State University's Jess Dow Field. The Raiders, now 1-0, are ranked by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA).

Senior Sarah Healey (Canton, Mass./Canton) had 11 saves for the Purple and Gold, while classmates Hannah Beardsley (Essex, Mass./Manchester Essex Regional) and Shannon Rice (West River, Md./Elizabeth Seton) also buoyed a stout defensive effort by notching two defensive saves apiece. Rice now has 11 for her career, all during the past two seasons, which tie her with Kate Higgins '10 for second in program history.

Shippensburg sophomore Cassie Rawa (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown Area) netted the only goal of the contest, and first-year Ally Mooney (Spring City, Pa./Owen J. Roberts) did not make a save.

Healey notched four of her stops in the first half before the Raiders increased the pressure in the second stanza. After a Healey save in the 39th minute, Rice followed soon thereafter with her first defensive stop. Back-to-back shots were denied by Healey in the 45th minute, and Rice made another defensive save midway through the 46th minute. Near the center point of the 53rd minute, Healey turned away senior Tori Ricker (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg Area), but Rawa stuck the rebound home at 52:29 for what proved to be the contest's only score. Down the stretch, the goalkeeper posted two more stops and Beardsley contributed her defensive saves in the 57th and 63rd minutes to keep it a one-goal margin, and Shippensburg hit a post in the 67th minute.

The Purple Knights square off with Mansfield (Pa.) University tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. during the second day of the Dora Metrelis Field Hockey Classic.