In second straight Little East match, Warriors move out to early lead
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Sophomore forward Hannah Keiser (Danbury) moved within two of establishing an Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey record for goals in a season with her 11th, but the Warriors couldn't protect an early one-goal lead in dropping a 2-1 Little East Conference decision to 2012 conference playoff champion University of Masschusetts Dartmouth Wednesday night at Cressy Field.
Keiser converted a penalty shot with nine minutes gone in the match for Eastern (6-6, 3-3 LEC), but three-time conference playoff champion UMass (9-3, 6-0 LEC) got the equalizer three minutes later and maintained a share of the top spot in the conference with the game-winning with just over ten minutes left. Senior forward Eleanor Taylor was credited with both unassisted goals for the Corsairs, which defeated Eastern for the eighth consecutive time and in the process, improved its conference winning streak to 17.
The match - which kicked off the second half of the LEC regular season -- marked the second near-upset of a traditional LEC power for Eastern, which scored the first two goals this past Saturday but was overtaken by Plymouth State University, 3-2. Eastern's three conference losses have each come by one goal, one in a shootout.
Freshman goalie Samantha Scavo (Redding) made nine saves for Eastern, which was outshot 21-5 by the hosts, who also amassed a 10-2 advantage in penalty corners. UMass senior goalie Lauren O'Brien, a second-team All-LEC selection as a junior, kicked out four shots, holding the Warriors off the board after Keiser's early strike.
UMass was picked for second in the conference pre-season coaches' poll, Eastern last.
Eastern hosts Salem State University (5-5, 3-3 LEC) Saturday at noon in an LEC match on Seniors' Day. With five regular-season LEC matches remaining, the Warriors and Vikings share fifth place in the 12-team loop. The top eight teams qualify for the conference playoffs, which get underway Nov. 5 with first-round contests.