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Field Hockey: Early Goals Set Tempo as Warriors Smother Salem in Little East Play

Field Hockey: Early Goals Set Tempo as Warriors Smother Salem in Little East Play

MANSFIELD, Conn. – Junior forward Morgan Sanson (Thomaston) scored on her first two shots in the opening ten minutes to help power the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team to its fourth straight win in the series with Salem State University, 5-0, in a Little East Conference match at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Sanson, an All-State player in high school playing her first season in college, scored what proved to be the game-winning goal just 2:21 into the match after Salem (0-5, 0-3 LEC) freshman goalie Kelli McCarthy had turned away a pair of early bids by junior forward Khiara Valentine (Morristown, NJ) and freshman forward Sydney Collentine (New Fairfield).

McCarthy kicked away Collentine's shot from close range, but Collentine retrieved it outside the circle and passed it to senior midfielder Erin Sheehan (North Branford). Stationed on the left post, Sanson out-reached a Salem defender and directed Sheehan's drive inside the post. It was Sheehan's first point of the season.

Sanson scored her second goal of the match and third of her career eight minutes later from a near-identical spot at the left post. Freshman midfielder Brianna Nolan (Watertown) initiated the scoring play when she split two Salem defenders to retrieve the ball on the right wing. She cut inside the circle and sent the ball in front of the goal to Collentine, whose shot through traffic was re-directed by Sanson into the upper left of the net.

Eastern (2-3, 2-1 LEC) equaled the score of last year's LEC victory over the Vikings and has won four straight in the series since losing seven in a row.

First-year sophomore transfer Sydney Hogan (Northford) made it 3-0 late in the first halfwhen she deposited Nolan's cross from the right into the back of the cage for her second goal off the year, and the Warriors tacked on two unassisted goals two minutes apart early in the second half off the stick of Valentine and Collentine. The assist and goal were the first career points for Collentine and the assist was the first career point for Nolan.

First-year sophomore goalie Keira Integlia (Branford) and freshman Abby Harris (Windham, NH) combined on the shutout. Integlia made five stops over the first 49 minutes and Harris made one to protect the 5-0 lead.

Eastern hosts Castleton University Saturday at noon in a Little East Conference match.