Field hockey slips to nationally-ranked Stonehill, 4-2, in NE-10 opener

Field hockey slips to nationally-ranked Stonehill, 4-2, in NE-10 opener

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College field hockey team was on the losing end of a 4-2 decision against nationally-ranked Stonehill College in both teams' Northeast-10 Conference opener on Saturday at Duffy Field. The Purple Knights move to 3-2 overall and 0-1 in the league, while the Skyhawks, ranked ninth in the latest National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) poll, are 2-3 and 1-0.

Junior Abby Dusha (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich Central School) had a goal and an assist for the Purple Knights, and classmate Carolyn Avery (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) tacked on a marker. Junior goalkeeper Abigail Bowie (Readfield, Maine/Kents Hill School) made 13 saves.

Stonehill senior Erika Kelly scored twice and added an assist, sophomore Alexandria Sylvia registered one goal and one assist and first-year Kacie Smith scored once. First-year Sara Freedman stopped three shots for the win.

Bowie made a pair of stops in the opening 12 minutes to keep the game scoreless before Avery broke the stalemate in the 17th minute. Following a penalty corner, senior Megan Deschaine's (Claremont, N.H./Stevens) pass from the top of the circle found Dusha, whose pass across the circle was tipped home by Avery just inside the left post at 16:55. The Purple Knight lead lasted just 1:26 as Kelly raced up the field to beat the defense before backhanding a shot past Bowie for the equalizer. Bowie made a trio of saves until Kelly netted her second goal of the day when she received junior Sarah Morse's pass and delivered a hard shot from the top of the circle at 27:05. The Purple Knights knotted up the score at 2-2 with 2:07 left in the first half after Dusha's long cross deflected off of a Stonehill defender and into the net.

The Skyhawks tested Bowie three times to open the second stanza but it was Sylvia's hit at 44:02 that put the visitors back on top. Kelly's pass from the top of the circle found Sylvia, who was parked by the right post for the score. During the 61st minute, Kelly received a penalty corner entry feed at the top of the circle and left the ball for Sylvia, who connected with Smith for the tally to give Stonehill a 4-2 lead. Saint Michael's junior Kate Baltich (Loudonville, N.Y./Shaker) had her point-blank shot at 68:18 stuffed by Freedman's left pad. Senior Mackenzie Hudson (Stoughton, Mass./Stoughton) sent in a bid with 12 seconds remaining that was also met by Freedman.

The Purple Knights travel to Merrimack College for a 4:30 p.m. game on Wednesday.