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Eastern battles Bridgewater into final minutes in key LEC loss
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Senior forward Carissa Vizakis notched the game's only goal with 1:58 left in play to lift the Bridgewater State University field hockey team to a 1-0 Little East Conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Saturday night at Swenson Field.
Bridgewater (14-2, 9-1 LEC) extended its winning streak to a program-best 11 games. The Bears are tied for second place in the conference with UMass Dartmouth, which edged Plymouth State, 4-3, Saturday.
Eastern's (8-9, 4-6 LEC) sixth straight loss at the hands of Bridgewater muddies the conference post-season picture. Eastern entered play in a three-way tie for fifth place in the conference, but falls to seventh after both Salem State and the University of Southern Maine won their matches Saturday. The top eight teams in the 12-team conference qualify for the playoffs, which get underway with first-round games Nov. 5.
The Warriors enter the final weekend of the regular season one game ahead of Westfield State University and Worcester State University as the three times vie for the final two playoff spots. Westfield hosts Western Connecticut this Friday night, while Eastern visits Worcester State Saturday at 2 p.m.
Unofficially, an Eastern win or Westfield loss guarantees Eastern a playoff spot, but a Westfield victory Friday night and an Eastern loss Saturday would create a three-way tie for the final two spots. Losses to both Westfield and Worcester would unofficially eliminate Eastern from playoff contention.
Bridgewater scored the only goal Saturday night off a penalty corner. With the clock ticking down to two minutes, junior midfielder Jaclyn Holahan sent in a shot in from the top of the circle. The ball was deflected into the air by senior defender Olivia Galvin and Vizakis batted the ball out of the air and into the back of the net.
For Vizakis, the goal marked her team leading 15th the season and 29th of her career.
Senior Kacie Sturgeon recorded three saves to post her conference leading ninth shut out of the season and 14th of her career. Sturgeon entered the game ranked second in Division III in save percentage and eighth in goals against average.
Eastern freshman goaltender Samantha Scavo (Redding) turned aside two shots as the Warriors dropped their fifth conference match in the last six tries.
Eastern closes in on LEC playoffs by clipping Western in OT
MANSFIELD, Conn. - Sophomore Hannah Keiser (Danbury) set a season record with her 13th goal of the season 22:33 into sudden-death overtime and freshman goalie Samantha Scavo (Redding) broke the season record for shutouts in lifting the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team to a crucial 1-0 Little East Conference victory over Western Connecticut State University Tuesday night in its final regular-season home match at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
At right: Hannah Keiser
Keiser scored an unassisted goal midway through the second 15-minute overtime session - outplaying Western freshman keeper Kristy Trotta for possession - and hitting the back of the open cage as Eastern (8-8, 4-5 LEC) posted to its second 1-0 win over Western (4-11, 1-8 LEC) in as many years. The Warriors and Colonials have played five overtime matches in this eight-game series, Eastern moving ahead, 3-2, in those contests.
With the win, Eastern took a giant step toward qualifying for the Little East Conference playoffs for the first time in nine years. The Warriors entered the day in sixth place in the 12-team conference and moved into a tie for fifth with Salem State University, which surrendered the only goal of the match in the final four minutes of a home loss to Bridgewater State University Tuesday.
The top eight teams in the final standings qualify for the playoffs, which get underway Nov. 5. Eastern closes out the season at Bridgewater State (8-1 in the LEC) Saturday and Worcester State University (2-7) Saturday, Nov. 2. Unofficially, Eastern will clinch a berth with one victory in its final two matches.
The team's eight wins represent its second-most in a season in the program's 16-year history, behind only the 2001 team which won 11 of 20 matches and qualified for the program's only post-season tournament (ECAC).
Keiser took six of Eastern's eight shots, finally connecting for her team-leading 13th goal to break Sharon Kilpatrick's 2001 record which she had equaled in scoring the game's only goal in last Wedneday's non-conference victory here over Connecticut College. The game-winning marker was the fourth this year for Keiser, who has recorded over 40 percent of the team's season total of 32 goals.
Western outshot Eastern, 7-1 in overtime, but Keiser made Eastern's only one count.
Scavo made seven saves to record her fifth shutout in 12 starts, while Trotta made three saves. The program's previous record for full shutouts in a season was four, set by Jennifer Makwana in 2001.
The Colonials held a slim 10-8 advantage in penalty corners.
Hoping to improve playoff position, they sustain 2-0 loss to Keene
At right: Samantha Scavo
KEENE, N.H. - Hoping to improve its playoff status as the Little East Conference field hockey season heads into the final weeks, Eastern Connecticut State University was unable to upset conference co-leader Keene State College, falling for the 12th straight time to the Owls, 2-0, Saturday afternoon at the Owl Athletic Complex.
While Keene (13-3, 8-0 LEC) took over sole possession of first place with its win over Eastern (7-8, 3-5 LEC) and defending LEC playoff champion UMass Dartmouth's shootout loss to homestanding Bridgewater State University, the Warriors dropped from sole possession of sixth place in the 12-team standings into a three-way tie for sixth with Westfield State University (which was idle) and the University of Southern Maine (2-0 winner over visiting Framingham State University).
Searching for its first conference playoff berth since 2004, Eastern hosts Western Connecticut State University Tuesday at 6 p.m. before closing on the road at Bridgewater State and Worcester State University. The top eight teams in the final standings compete in the playoffs, which begin Nov. 5.
Eastern Conn. (7-8, 3-5 LEC) has dropped four of its last five games, all of the setbacks coming in conference play following a 3-1 conference start.
Sophomore Haylie Dolan and freshman Sami Smith found the back of the net for the Owls. Dolan scored her sixth goal of the season with 11 minutes left in the first half, and Smith's ninth of the campaign gave the hosts insurance with nine minutes left.
Freshman Kayla Renaud, who shares the Keene scoring lead of ten goals with sophomore Lyndsie Rabenius, was limited to only one shot. Rabenius did not play. "It was a more physical game than we expected," said Keene veteran coach Amy Watson afterward. "We had a lot of opportunities, but their defense is pretty solid and their goalie had a great game."
Eastern freshman goalie Samantha Scavo (Redding) kept it a two goal-game with several big saves later in the half, finishing with a career-tying 11 saves.
Keene State had a wide advantage in shots (20-3) and corners (15-1).
The Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey program is selling mums to benefit the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR).
The team will be selling mums on Tuesday, Oct. 22 beginning at 6 p.m. during its final regular-season home match against Western Connecticut State University.
at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
Mums are $5 and come in white, red, and bronze for a presale. More colors will be available at the turf field during the game.
If you are interested in preordering mums or T-shirts ($15) please contact head coach Christine Hutchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not able to pick up pre-ordered mums during the game on the 22nd they will be available for pickup on Wednesday, Oct. 23 in office 243 in the Sports Center.
All profits will be donated to cancer research.
Keiser's early goal is enough for team's first win ever over Conn, 1-0
WATCH: Captains Kelly Gawron and Finley Ahearn review the win (7:03)
At left: The scoreboard told the story as the Warriors celebrate their first win over Conn College Wednesday.
MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Sophomore forward Hannah Keiser (Danbury) tied the Eastern Connecticut State University season record with her 12th goal of the year in powering the Warriors to a 1-0 non-conference victory over Connecticut College Wednesday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
Keiser scored from in close with 5:30 gone in the match following a penalty corner by senior midfielder Finley Ahearn (Wallingford), who recorded her team-leading sixth assist of the season.
The win is the first for Eastern (7-7) over Conn (3-7) in this seven-game series and snaps a three-game Eastern losing streak. Conn has dropped its last six.
Eastern controlled play throughout most of the match, with the Camels managing only two shots in the second half. On a second-half shot by Conn sophomore midfielder Maggie Schroeder ten minutes into the second half, Eastern sophomore back Jessica Oliveira (Danbury) kept Conn off the board with a defensive save. With eight minutes left and trailing by a goal, Conn sent the ball into the circle, but junior forward Maggie Rakovic fanned twice on shots while directly in front of Eastern freshman keeper Samanta Scavo (Redding).
At left: Eastern's defense moves in to defend against Conn's Shaelin Gottlick in the first half Wednesday.
Eastern senior defender Kelly Gawron (Ramsey, NJ) led the game with a leg injury with Eastern leading with 18 minutes left in the first half and was replaced by freshman Shannon Connors (Westport), but returned several minutes later. In her absence, Conn junior forward Jen Morgan made a bid to tie the score but she was stuffed by Scavo. A minute after Gawron's return, Keiser broke free for a 1v1 opportunity but was denied by Napolitano. Four minutes later, Eastern made another attempt to double its lead when sophomore midfielder Laura Chicorka (Enfield) received a cross on the right side, but Napolitano was there again to make a sprawling stop.
Throughout the match, Eastern's starting defense of Oliveira, Gawron, sophomore Mackenzie Brower (Granby) and freshman Alexandra Steward (Old Saybrook) kept the visitors from mounting consistent offensive threats.
Both teams had six shots and Scavo and Conn junior Becca Napolitano were both credited with four saves. Scavo recorded her fourth shutout in ten starts, lowering her goals-against average to 1.46 and raising her save percentage to .824.
The Camels maintained a 7-4 advantage in penalty corners and could not take advantage of any of the five which they were awarded in the second half.
Eastern returns to Little East Conference play Saturday at Keene State College at 1:30 p.m.
Eastern's four seniors and their families were recognized prior to the final regular-season Saturday home match of the season. From left, Nicole Vitetllo, Morgan Osiecki, Finley Ahearn, and Kelly Gawron. (Photo by Vanessa Cioe).
Eastern's offense can't get untracked in 2-0 Little East loss to Vikes
MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Lauren Pazdziorny and Paige McNickol scored less than five minutes apart early in the second period and freshman Carolyn Woodin made six saves to carry the Salem State University field hockey team to a 2-0 Little East Conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University on Seniors' Day Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
With its sixth consecutive victory over Eastern, Salem (6-5, 4-3 LEC) takes over fifth place in the conference, knocking Eastern ( 6-7, 3-4 LEC) into sixth place. Four teams are a game behind the Warriors and tied for the final two LEC playoff spots.
At right: Freshman goalie Samantha Scavo (Photo by Mike Gillotti)
Pazdziorny scored her team-leading tenth goal of the season with just under four minutes gone in the second half to snap a scoreless duel, and McNickol followed less than five minutes later with her second strike of the season.
Pazdziorny was credited with the goal which began with a hit-in from Kathleen Clark to Erin Botticelli. Botticelli slammed a shot from the top of the circle which was re-directed by Pazdziorny past Eastern freshman goalie Samantha Scavo (Redding). McNickol added insurance when she was able to get a stick on a rebound and poke it past a sprawled Scavo.
Salem could not muster its first shot of the match until 11 minutes remained in the first half and was held without a penalty corner until seven minutes were left in the first half The Vikings had a scoring chance with two minutes left in the first half when freshman Natalie Bourne and Scavo battled to control a loose ball, which was finally cleared by Eastern's Jessica Oliveira (Danbury).
Early in the second half, Salem freshman Katie Pietrini stick-handled through the Eastern defense and unloaded a shot, which was stopped by Scavo. However, minutes later Pazdziorny put the Vikings in front with a goal on her only shot of the day which reached the cage.
With Eastern trailing 1-0 early in the second half, Nicole Vitello (Wallingford) took a cross from the left, but her one-timer attempting to tie the score was stopped by Woodin. Salem answered almost immediately with McNickol's goal that pushed the Salem lead to 2-0.
Down two goals with 15 minutes left, freshman Gabriela Meza (Norwalk) got off a strong shot off a penalty corner, but Woodin kicked it out. In the final minutes, Morgan Osiecki (Bethel) and team scoring leader Hannah Keiser (Danbury) had opportunities to slice the deficit. With room in the circle after receiving a shot pass from the left, Osiecki's bid went wide of the left post. Woodin made her sixth save of the match at the left post with three minutes left on Keiser's team-leading fourth shot of the match.
The loss is the third straight in the conference for Eastern, which had lost its previous conference decisions by a single goal. Eastern played without starting All-LEC midfielder Laura Chicorka (Enfield), who missed the first start of her two-year career due to personal obligations.
Eastern hosts Connecticut College Wednesday at 4 p.m.
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.
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey program is holding a FREE high school clinic on Wednesday, Oct. 23rd on the Mansfield Outdoor Complex turf field located at 56 Mansfield City Road, Mansfield.
The clinic will run from 3p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please email head coach Christine Hutchison at email@example.com if your team or athletes are interested in attending. If you have specific areas that you would like to see emphasized, please let us know.
The women's lacrosse program is holding high school clinics on Monday, Oct. 21st and Wednesday, Oct. 23rd on the Mansfield Outdoor Complex turf field located at 56 Mansfield City Road, Mansfield.
The clinics are scheduled to be held from 6p.m. to 7:30 p.m. each night. No need to pre-register, just bring a check (made out to ECSU Foundation, Inc.) or cash of $15 to the field when you arrive at each clinic. The clinics start at 6p.m. but you are welcome to arrive at 5:30 p.m if you would like to interact with this year's team members.
VIEW LATEST HIGHLIGHT VIDEOS:
Women's Volleyball vs. Keene State (Sept. 28)
Field Hockey vs. Southern Maine (Sept. 21)
Gasch, Luppi, Santos and Walton cited during week ending Oct. 6
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Four Eastern Connecticut State University athletes - three of them defensive players representing three programs -- were recognized with individual awards as part of the fifth weekly Little East Conference awards program, announced Monday.
Freshman men's soccer goalie Greg Walton (Brunswick, ME) repeated as Goalkeeper-of-the-Week and was additionally cited as Rookie-of-the-Week; senior outside hitter Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) and sophomore libero Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) were recognized with volleyball's Offensive and Defensive Player-of-the-Week awards, and freshman Chelsea Santos (Windsor Locks) was named women's soccer Goalkeeper-of-the-Week.
The honor is the first in the careers of all but Walton.
Walton extended his streak to 551 minutes and 16 seconds without allowing a goal by playing the first 80 minutes in the team's fifth straight shutout and seventh straight win in a midweek victory over Saint Joseph's College (ME) and the first 21 minutes of a 1-1 double overtime road victory with Massachusetts Boston. Walton lowered his goals-against average to a season-best 0.57 with four saves in his fifth shutout in his ninth start against Saint Joseph's and raised his season's save percentage to a season-high of .829 with five saves against UMass Boston.
Eastern men's soccer players have been honored a total of six times this year. Freshman midfielder Nicholas Warren (Southbury) was named Rookie-of-the-Week twice and senior back/midfielder Carl Stensland (Storrs) Defensive Player-of-the-Week once.
Gasch led Eastern with 39 kills and 45.5 points in 12 sets and represented Eastern on the all-tournament team when the Warriors won two of three matches at its own Crabtree Classic. Gasch accumulated nearly one-third of the team's attack attempts and averaged 3.25 kills. In a Little East Conference three-set sweep of UMass Dartmouth in the tournament, Gasch had ten kills and a .259 attack percentage, and in a four-set victory over the University of New England, had a season-high 16 kills and attacked at .302.
Luppi averaged 5.45 digs and commited only three errors on 54 serve reception attempts for a percentage of .944. Sharing libero duties recently, Luppi set personal highs with 23 digs twice at this past Saturday's Crabree Classic hosted by Eastern, and with 21 digs twice in two of the tournament matches. In a four-set victory over University of New England in the tournament , Luppi had 23 reception attempts with only one error, and 21 digs. In 63 sets this year, Luppi averages 2.75 digs and has a .951 reception percentage.
Prior to this week, senior libero Erynn Miller (Stratford) was named Defensive Player-of-the-Week twice and freshman outside hitter Adrianna Mihalek (Woodbury) Rookie-of-the-Week once.
Back in the starting lineup after missing nearly a month with an injury, Santos made eight saves to shut out 2012 Little East Conference playoff champion Massachusetts Boston Saturday at home. The shutout was the second in three career starts for Santos, who held the Beacons scoreless for the first time this year.Santos has a 0.33 goals-against average and .909 save percentage this year.
Previously this year, senior back Megan Godwin (Manchester) and sophomore back Gia Karahalios (South Windsor) were honored with weekly awards as Defensive Player-of-the-Week.
All three teams return to action on the road Tuesday. Men's soccer (7-1-2) takes on Wesleyan University at 4 p.m., women's soccer (6-4-0) meets Amherst College (ranked No. 6 in New England) at 4 p.m., and women's volleyball (9-9) plays Western Connecticut State University in a Little East Conference match at 6 p.m.