Senior contributes goal and two assists in Warriors' first victory
MANSFIELD, Conn. - Penalty corners set up three goals for the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team and the Warriors used a 25-9 advantage in shots to down Anna Maria College, 4-2, Thursday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
At left: Hannah Keiser (10), Finley Ahearn (white headband) and their teammates celebrate Keiser's first goal in the opening minutes of Thursday's 4-2 victory. (Photo by Liam Murphy)
Trailing by a goal, Eastern (1-1) scored three goals in 14 minutes to record its sixth goal in this series without a loss to Anna Maria (1-2), which won a program-record 14 matches last year and the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) championship and reached the ECAC New England Division III Tournament.
Each team started four freshmen and featured a combined total of 21 first-year players on their roster, with Eastern starting freshmen forwards Elly Walker (Scarborough, ME) and MaryKate Custer (South Windsor) each contributing assists. Walker's second assist in as many matches set up senior midfielder Finley Ahearn's (Wallingford) tying goal with less than four minutes left in the first half, and Custer's first career point led to sophomore forward Hannah Keiser's (Danbury) go-ahead goal - her second of the match - nine minutes into the second half.
At left: Finley Ahearn ties the match with her first career goal late in the first half. (Photo by Liam Murphy)
Ahearn equaled her entire career-high for points with her first career goal and two assists, all coming following penalty corners. Keiser scored the first goal of the match directly off Ahearn's corner, and Ahearn tied the match late in the first half when she sent in a penalty corner, and later took a return pass from Walker at the left post and beat Anna Maria sophomore goalie Mary Kate Breen. With Eastern leading 3-2, Ahearn sent in a another penalty corner and sophomore All-Little East Conference midfielder Laura Chicorka (Enfield) drilled a shot from the top of the circle which caromed off an Anna Maria defender to give Eastern a two-goal advantage ten minutes into the second half.
Making her collegiate debut freshman goalie Samantha Scavo (Redding) made three saves in the second half in place of junior starter Olivia Mullen (Bethel) to gain her first collegiate victory.
Sophomore forward Kylie Dalbec scored both of Anna Maria's goals. Dalbec, who has four of her team's six goals this season, tied the match in the 13th minute when she dribbled around Mullen to steer the ball into an open net, then gave the AMCATS their only lead ten minutes later when she converted on a 1v1 opportunity with Mullen.
Eastern dominated play with a 25-9 advantage in shots and recorded nine of its 14 penalty corners in the first half.
Eastern visits Lasell College Saturday at 1 p.m.