GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - In a match-up of nationally-ranked field hockey teams, No. 10 Saint Michael's College chipped a five-goal deficit to two late in an eventual 6-3 loss to eighth-ranked Adelphi University on Saturday at Motamed Field in Northeast-10 Conference play. The Purple Knights are 8-8 overall and 4-5 in the league, while the Panthers are 12-4 and 7-2.
Saint Michael's, which is fifth in this week's NCAA East Region poll, received a season-high two goals from first-year Marjolein Kerstjens (Bilthoven, The Netherlands/Werkplaats Kindergemeenschap), while junior Megan Deschaine (Claremont, N.H./Stevens) also scored. Senior Sarah Healey (Canton, Mass./Canton) had 11 saves, and classmate Hannah Beardsley (Essex, Mass./Manchester Essex Regional) made a defensive stop.
Junior Mary Plotas (Brookeville, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) had a hat trick for Adelphi, which is third in the regional poll, and classmate Molly Cuevas (San Jose, Calif./Leland) turned in two goals and an assist. First-year Samantha Nizich (Nesconset, N.Y./Smithtown East) also scored, and classmate Amanda Gargiulo (Westbury, N.Y./W.T. Clarke) made two saves.
The Panthers scored early in the contest to take the lead for good, with Healey stopping a Cuevas shot in the seventh minute before Nizich pounced on the rebound at 6:57. Healey denied six more shots in the next almost 25 minutes, and Beardsley made her defensive save in the 18th minute to keep it 1-0. Adelphi scored twice right before halftime, as Plotas tallied at 31:52 and Cuevas scored off of a penalty-corner sequence with time expired.
After another Healey save in the 39th minute, a scramble ensued in front of the Saint Michael's net, and Plotas found the rebound to score at 38:39. She completed her hat trick in the 47th minute to make it 5-0 before the visitors rallied. Deschaine went five-hole at 48:15, just 1:47 after Adelphi's most recent marker, and Kerstjens scored twice in a four-minute span to produce a 5-3 margin. At 52:17, she found the back of the net with a drive over Gargiulo from the top of the circle. Exactly four minutes later, she went five-hole from the right side, capping a stretch of three Purple Knight goals in a matter of 8:02. However, Cuevas added an insurance tally at 64:09.
The Purple Knights, who finished a four-game stretch during which they played three nationally-ranked opponents, complete their home slate on Tuesday by hosting Bentley University at 2 p.m. They will wear special camouflage jerseys as part of Military Appreciation Day.