BIDDEFORD, Maine — The University of New England jumped out to a 3-0 lead through 25 minutes and never looked back, cruising to a 7-3 field hockey victory over Husson University in the season-opener for both squads on Thursday evening (Sep. 1) at the Big Blue Turf.
The Nor’easters (1-0) have taken six of the last seven meetings against the Eagles (0-1).
Nicole Matarozzo got the hosts started in the 9th minute, before Hannah Buckley (16th) and Desirae LeBlanc (25th) padded the margin. Husson managed to get one back with 14 seconds left in the initial half, as Taylor Shaw collected a rebound from a defensive save and found the back of the cage. Big Blue out-shot their opponent, 15-5, in the frame.
It took UNE a little less than 12 minutes of the 2nd period to push the spread to 6-1, as goals by Alex Staples, Becky Zakorchemny, and Marge Gardiner found their through.
Lauren Russell converted a rebound off her own shot in the 59th minute for the Eagles, but Vonde Saunders restored the five-goal cushion for the Nor’easters in the 63rd minute. Then, like the end of the opening stanza, Husson closed with a tally in the waning seconds, as Russell picked up an assist on a redirected goal by Kerianne Downing.
For the UNE attack, Matarozzo, Gardiner, Kersey Boulay, and Olivia Madore registered assists in the game.
Holly Smith turned in seven saves defending Big Blue’s end, while Kaitlin Dolloff made 14 stops on the other side for the Eagles.
Both teams resume action on Saturday. The Nor’easters will head for Keene State College at 1:30 p.m., and Husson is slated to entertain Gordon College beginning at 2 p.m.
— Submitted by UNE athletics