Field hockey tops No. 9 Saint Anselm, 2-1, downs second straight nationally-ranked foe

Field hockey tops No. 9 Saint Anselm, 2-1, downs second straight nationally-ranked foe

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College field hockey team knocked off its second consecutive nationally-ranked opponent on Saturday, beating No. 9 Saint Anselm College, 2-1, in Northeast-10 Conference play at Duffy Field. The Purple Knights, now winners of three straight contests, improve to 7-3 overall and are 3-0 in the league for the first time since 2008, having also downed No. 10 Merrimack College on Wednesday. The Hawks, whose ranking in according to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA), slide to 5-2 and 1-1.

Senior Samantha Burns (North Creek, N.Y./Johnsburg Central) and junior Morgan Mazanec (Shelburne, Mass./Mohawk Trail Regional) provided the Saint Michael's goals, while seniors Hannah Beardsley (Essex, Mass./Manchester Essex Regional) and Cassaundra Davis (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport) both had an assist. Davis' assist gives her 68 career points, tying her with Sarah Alves '01 and Jenn Gray '04 for seventh in Purple Knight history. Senior goalkeeper Sarah Healey (Canton, Mass./Canton) made 11 saves for the win and classmate Shannon Rice (West River, Md./Elizabeth Seton) picked up a defensive save in the first half for the 15th of her career, moving her past Ashley Webb '07 for most in program history.

Junior Colleen Sears (Danvers, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) scored and sophomore Rose Mooney (North Attleboro, Mass./North Attleboro) assisted for Saint Anselm. Sophomore Katherine Sears (Northboro, Mass./Algonquin Regional) turned away five shots. Classmate Jennifer Brown (Freeport, Maine/North Yarmouth Academy) posted a defensive save.

Saint Anselm started the game with eight shots in the opening 2:14, four of which were stopped by Healey, while Rice picked up her record-breaking defensive save off a shot by junior Meagan Halligan (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) at 1:37. The hosts then took their offensive pressure with four shots in a 7:11 span, including Brown making a defensive save after catching up to a 3-on-0 break led by Burns. Saint Michael's accounted for three of the following eight shots with no score, but it was Burns' tally at 30:05 that put the Purple Knights up, 1-0. Off a long pass from Davis that found its way through a Saint Anselm defender, Burns raced to the net on a breakaway and delivered a shot to the lower left corner of the net.

The second half mirrored much of the beginning of the game, as Saint Anselm applied heavy offensive pressure in the form of five scoreless shots during the opening 6:48. Colleen Sears, though, evened up the game when she tipped home Mooney's hard pass off a penalty corner at 44:09. Purple Knight sophomore Carolyn Avery (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) was stopped twice on penalty-corner shots in the ensuing nine minutes, with the second leading to another penalty corner that resulted in Mazanec's winning goal at 53:19. After inserting a penalty-corner pass, Mazanec darted toward the left post, where she tipped in Beardsley's cross from the right side.

Down by one goal, Saint Anselm ran off four penalty corners in a matter of 5:04 during the final 9:20 of regulation but was able to fire off only one tying attempt, which Healey turned away at 65:49.

Saint Michael's begins a three-game road trip next Saturday at 1 p.m. against Southern New Hampshire University.