EASTON, Mass. - In a match-up between two nationally-ranked field hockey squads tied for second place in the Northeast-10 Conference, No. 9 Saint Michael's College fell at No. 4 Stonehill College, 2-1, in W.B. Mason Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. The Purple Knights, who are also ranked fourth in the NCAA East Region poll, fell to 8-5 overall and 4-2 in the league, as all five of their losses have come by one goal. The Skyhawks are now 11-2 and 5-1, as well as ranked first in the region. Both squads' national rankings are according to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA).
Senior Jackie Chisholm (New Braintree, Mass./Quabbin Regional) made 22 saves for the visitors, the most by a Saint Michael's keeper since Jess Anderson '05 had 26 on Sept. 27, 2003, also in a one-goal loss against a nationally-ranked foe, Bentley University. Classmate Cassaundra Davis (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport) put home her career-high-tying 12th goal, which was also the 31st of her career. Seniors Hannah Beardsley (Essex, Mass./Manchester Essex Regional) and Shannon Rice (West River, Md./Elizabeth Seton) both had a defensive save, with Rice extending her own program record to 16 for her career.
Senior Emily Sideris (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) and junior Erika Kelly (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) both scored for Stonehill, and senior Elizabeth Genovese (Streed, Md./North Harford) totaled four saves.
Chisholm kept the Purple Knights in the game throughout, including while denying back-to-back shots in the 11th minute. Beardsley chipped in with her defensive stop in the 12th minute before Stonehill took the lead five minutes later. Off of a penalty-corner sequence, Kelly fired an initial attempt wide but grabbed her own rebound at the left post and tallied at 16:46. Another pair of stops by Chisholm off two quick shots in the 28th minute kept it 1-0, and Rice notched her defensive stop only seconds later.
Late in the half, Sideris doubled her team's lead, taking sophomore Sarah Morse's (Westminster, Mass./Oakmont Regional) penalty-corner entry feed at the top of the circle and finding the net at 31:22. Chisholm turned in another two saves in quick succession in the 34th minute, and Saint Michael's ran off a penalty corner as time wound down, but sophomore Carolyn Avery (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) had a shot blocked.
Chisholm made 10 saves in the opening 6:58 of the second half alone, negating 13 shots and four penalty corners by the Skyhawks. The Purple Knights had opportunities to crack the scoring column late in the game, as Avery was blocked in the 58th minute before sending a second shot on Genovese, and the keeper stopped first-year Jenna Deschaine (Claremont, N.H./Stevens) only seconds later before Deschaine sent another attempt wide.
After three more saves from Chisholm, Saint Michael's broke through during a 65th-minute penalty-corner sequence. Junior Mackenzie Hudson (Stoughton, Mass./Stoughton) inserted the ball to senior Meghan Ahearn (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee), who stick-stopped for Davis' strike, bringing her team within 2-1 at 64:20. In the waning moments, the visitors had a chance to tie on another penalty corner, but a Purple Knight who was open at the right post with 30 seconds to go missed wide right on an open net, and Stonehill carried to the other end.
The Purple and Gold continues a big week on Saturday by hosting LIU Post, which is ranked fifth nationally and second regionally, during its Senior Day contest at 11 a.m.