BIDDEFORD, Maine — The No.17 University of New England field hockey team received goals from five different players on the way to a 5-3 season-opening win over Keene State College on Saturday afternoon (Sep. 2) at the Big Blue Turf.
Ranked in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Top 20 Preseason Poll, the Nor’easters (1-0) led from the start and tallied three times during the initial stages of the 2nd half built a 5-1 advantage.
Vonde Saunders (Center Conway, N.H.) and Olivia Madore (Lyman, Maine) put the hosts out to a 2-0 lead less than 12 minutes into the contest, with assists going to Brooke Lemerise (Bartlett, N.H.) and Kendra MacDonald (Lebanon, N.H.), respectively. [Watch 1]
However, the Owls (1-1) countered just 50 seconds later, as Erica Chareth (Amherst, N.H.) put in a feed from Nina Bruno (Agawam, Mass.). The 2-1 spread held until halftime, with Keene State maintaining a 6-4 edge in shots despite trailing 5-1 in penalty corners.
UNE charged out of the break and netted two goals in under three minutes, with Hannah Buckley (Leominster, Mass.) scoring on an assist from Saunders [Watch], and then Alex Staples (Alfred, Maine) knocking in a rebound [Watch]. In the 49th minute, Becky Zakorchemny (Gilford, N.H.) extended the gap to its peak, with the help of Brenna Sicard (Sunderland, Mass.).
The visitors attempted to get back in it, as Julia Babbitt (Haddam, Conn.) found the back of the cage in the 53rd and 58th minutes to slice the deficit in half (5-3). Each marker had an assist, credited to Kendal Brown (Belmont, Mass.) and Kayla Klein (West Brookfield, Mass.).
But UNE goalkeeper Liz Sargent (South Burlington, Vt.) only needed to make one save — her eighth — down the stretch to preserve the two-goal margin for the decision.
Jordan LaRaus (Bedford Hills, N.Y.) posted five stops against three goals allowed in 65:46 for Keene State, and received the aid of Hailey Beaupre (Danville, Conn.) with one defensive save.
Total shots (15-14) and corners (9-5) both ended in favor of the Nor’easters