Field hockey holds lead in eventual 4-3 loss to nationally-ranked Stonehill

Field hockey holds lead in eventual 4-3 loss to nationally-ranked Stonehill

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College field hockey team dropped a 4-3 decision to No. 7 Stonehill College, a 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifier, during non-conference play at Duffy Field on Saturday. The Purple Knights move to 1-2, while the Skyhawks remain unbeaten at 3-0. Stonehill's ranking is based on the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) national poll.

Senior Samantha Burns (North Creek, N.Y./Johnsburg Central), junior Morgan Mazanec (Shelburne, Mass./Mohawk Trail Regional) and sophomore Carolyn Avery (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) all chipped in goals for Saint Michael's, while senior goalkeeper Sarah Healey (Canton, Mass./Canton) recorded 10 saves in the loss. Classmate Hannah Beardsley (Essex, Mass./Manchester Essex Regional) had a defensive save.

Juniors Lauren Giordano (Watertown, Mass./Watertown), Erika Kelly Watertown, Mass./Watertown) and Elizabeth Thornton (Needham, Mass./Needham) and sophomore Shea Healy (Greenfield, Mass./Pioneer Valley) all scored, while senior Nicole Ciccia (Monroe, Conn./Lauralton Hall) provided an assist for Stonehill. Senior keeper Elizabeth Genovese (Street, Md./North Harford) made six saves in the win.

Stonehill fired five shots during the opening 7:30, but were held scoreless thanks to three Healey saves, Beardsley's defensive save and a blocked shot. The Skyhawks broke through the defense, though, after Thornton battled her way through the circle and struck the ball shot past the keeper's right leg at 7:58. The Purple Knights drew even on the scoreboard when Mazanec converted on a penalty stroke at 21:37. Stonehill pulled back ahead when Kelly picked the top left corner of the net off a weak-side shot for her team-leading fifth goal of the year at 29:26.

Saint Michael's charged ahead of the visitors after goals from Burns at 35:48 and Avery at 38:46. Both markers came off rebound shots from senior Cassaundra Davis (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport). Stonehill responded with two goals of its own, from Giordano at 44:18 and Healy at 56:27, to recapture the lead. Healy's strike from the top of the circle touched Saint Michael's players on its way to serving as the eventual game-winner for the Skyhawks, who did not allow a shot after Avery's goal.

The Purple Knights continue their four-game homestand on Friday with the program's first meeting against Southern New Hampshire University at 4 p.m.