COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College field hockey team earned its third straight victory of the season on Saturday, topping American International College, 3-2, at Duffy Field. Both teams are Northeast-10 Conference foes but were competing in a non-league game. The Purple Knights improve to 3-1, while the Yellow Jackets slide to 1-2. They will meet in a league affair on Oct. 27 at American International.
Junior Abby Dusha (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich Central School) scored twice and senior Megan Deschaine (Claremont, N.H./Stevens) provided the winning goal with 10:29 remaining in the game for Saint Michael's. Senior Morgan Mazanec (Shelburne, Mass./Mohawk Trail Regional) had one assist, pushing her point total to 10 through four games, while junior Abigail Bowie (Readfield, Maine/Kents Hill School) stopped four shots for the win.
Senior Erica McLean and first-year Amanda Dube both scored for American International with junior Taylor Ruscillo providing two assists. Senior Ainslee Penfield collected 11 saves.
The Purple Knights opened the scoring at 3:25 after Mazanec sent in a long hit from outside the circle that found its way through traffic, allowing to Dusha tap in the ball to the left side of the net after. Dusha added another goal at 15:44 after dribbling through the circle and backhanding a shot from the left side. Just 34 seconds later, Saint Michael's sophomore Jenna Deschaine (Claremont, N.H./Stevens) had her scoring bid turned aside by a diving Penfield. After a trio of Bowie stops over the ensuing 15 minutes, American International got on the board at 31:27. Following a tipped pass by Ruscillo, Dube picked up the loose ball, evaded a charging Bowie and punched home the score to the open net as the Yellow Jackets entered halftime down, 2-1.
Saint Michael's opened the second stanza with a pair of green cards during an 8:56 span. The hosts held American International shotless through the player disadvantages, but the Yellow Jackets were then assessed a yellow card. With the player down, the visitors pulled even on the board at 52:33 after Ruscillo fed a long pass to McLean, who buried the marker. The Purple Knights threatened 6:53 later when their three shots were all blocked, including Megan Deschaine's open-net bid that was cleared out by a Yellow Jacket defender. Deschaine converted on her next chance at 59:31 as Saint Michael's regained the lead following a broken up pass that she collected and chipped over Penfield. American International did not register a shot through the remainder of the game.
The Purple Knights continue a season-opening five-game stretch during which four contests occur at home when they take on nationally-ranked Stonehill College in an NE-10 contest next Saturday at 11 a.m. The Skyhawks are fifth in the latest National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) poll.