Field Hockey Drops Conference Battle to First-Place Stonehill

Field Hockey Drops Conference Battle to First-Place Stonehill

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College field hockey team was defeated by first-place Stonehill College, 4-1, on Saturday at Duffy Field in Northeast-10 Conference play. The Purple Knights slipped to 4-7 overall and 1-5 in the NE10, while the Skyhawks, who have qualified for the past four NCAA Tournaments and won two of the past three NE10 Championships, are 9-3 and 6-0 as the lone remaining squad with a perfect league record.

Junior Katie Leonard (Carmel, N.Y./The Ursuline School) picked up her first goal of the season for the Purple Knights. Sophomore Claire Scherf (Bethlehem, Conn./Nonnewaug) had two defensive saves as senior Jenna Deschaine (Claremont, N.H./Stevens) had one. Sophomore Anna Hurley (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich) posted four saves on the afternoon. Saint Michael's was barely outshot 16-15 while holding an 8-5 edge in penalty corners.

Junior Carly Andersen had two goals for the Skyhawks while classmate Kacie Smith, who leads NCAA Division II in goals, points and assists per game, contributed one goal and an assist. Senior Alexandria Sylvia also had a goal and assist while junior Sara Freedman had six saves. The Purple Knights held Smith under her averages entering the day of 6.3 points, 2.6 goals and 1.2 helpers and snapped her four-game hat trick streak.

The Purple Knights struck the first four shots within 9:02 before Smith hit the next four for Stonehill with neither team getting any shots by the keeper. Of Smith's attempts, Hurley stopped two, Scherf cleared one off the line, and another rang the right post. The Skyhawks scored at 19:33 as Smith passed from the top of the circle toward the front of the goal for Andersen, who tipped it to the right side. Shortly after at 20:55, Andersen hit her second goal to the left side after receiving a pass from across the box from Sylvia. After Deschaine's 26th-minute shot during a penalty corner sequence was stopped, Leonard grabbed the rebound and got Saint Michael's on the board by hitting the ball to the right side at 25:44.

Near the start of the second half, Smith was stopped by Hurley on an initial shot before Sylvia sent the second back toward the cage, where Scherf registered her second defensive save. However, Sylvia's third effort made it 3-1 at 36:16. Deschaine's defensive save denied Andersen's hat trick bid from the right side at 44:22, while junior Morgan Johnston's (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport) shot was denied by Freedman in the 51st minute. During the 56th minute, Smith drove down the right side and dribbled to the center of the circle before striking the final goal for Stonehill. In the final three minutes, Saint Michael's got three shots off with none getting through to the net.

The Purple Knights travel to American International College on Tuesday for a 4 p.m. start.