Field Hockey: Warriors Make Statement in Little East Opener With Decisive Victory

Field Hockey: Warriors Make Statement in Little East Opener With Decisive Victory

MANSFIELD, Conn. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team scored two goals 81 seconds apart to move out to a three-goal lead after 18 minutes and went on to down the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 5-1, in the Little East Conference opener for both programs Saturday at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

The win is the third straight for Eastern (1-2) over UMass (0-3) in the series and the goal total and winning margin were the highest for the Warriors in this 22-game series.

Senior defender Stephanie Hogan (Northford) recorded her first career multi-goal match when she converted a pair of penalty strokes and sister Sydney Hogan (Northford) – a sophomore transfer forward -- and sophomore forward Julia Koonjy (Jefferson, NJ) each netted their first career goals. Junior forward Khiara Valentine (Morristown, NJ) – last year's leading scorer – added her second goal of the year. Senior midfielder Tess Parker (Columbia) was credited with her first career point when she assisted on Valentine's goal.

Hogan put both of her penalty strokes inside the left post. The first was awarded when the ball hit the foot of a UMass defender on the goal line and the second when UMD senior goalie Allison Burke covered the ball during a scramble in front of the net.

All six of the goals in the game came in the first 37 minutes of play.

Hogan's first stroke came in the seventh minute of play to provide Eastern with an early lead, and Valentine and Konjy followed soon after with goals 81 seconds apart to make it 3-0 before the Corsairs broke through following a penalty corner midway through the first half, with freshman  forward Kylie Dias  connecting of a pass from senior midfielder Ciara Anderson (Medway, MA)

With Eastern leading 4-1 at halftime, Sydney Hogan backhanded a shot on the rebound of a shot by Stephanie Hogan to push the lead to four goals just 1:53 into the second half.

First-year sophomore goalie Keira Integlia (Branford) turned aside five shots over the first 61 minutes to register her first collegiate win, with freshman Abby Harris (Windham, NH) closing it out by making a save over the final nine minutes.

The Warriors piled up a 24-9 advantage in shots, forcing Burke to make 14 saves and held a decisive early advantage in penalty corners (6-2 through the first 30 minutes) before settling for a slim 12-11 edge.

Eastern remains in conference play Saturday at the University of Southern Maine at 3 p.m.