|University of New England||Endicott College|
BEVERLY, Mass. — After conceding the initial score, Alex Staples (Alfred, Maine) and Nicole Matarozzo (Wolfeboro, N.H.) scored within the last four minutes of the opening period to give the University of New England a midway edge on the way to a 3-1 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) field hockey win over Endicott College on Wednesday evening (Oct. 12) at North Field.
With the regular-season sweep of the Gulls, the Nor’easters (12-2, 7-0 CCC) now stand two games clear of both Endicott (7-7, 6-2 CCC) and Western New England University in the loss column of the league standings.
UNE, which was the first team also receiving votes just outside the latest National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Top 20 Poll released yesterday, has now topped EC in seven straight meetings.
Brittany Bushey broke into the scoreboard for the Gulls in the 15th minute, lifting an unassisted goal into the upper right corner of the cage.
In spite of the fact that total shots (11-8) and penalty corners (8-2) both favored the Nor’easters nearing halftime, Endicott goalie Cheka Ventura and two defensive saves had managed to keep the visitors in-check. However, UNE continued to press and on the subsequent corner Staples put back a rebound for the equalizer with 3:52 left in the session.
Then, with 49 seconds remaining before the break, Matarozzo converted a feed from Vonde Saunders (Center Conway, N.H.) to lift Big Blue on top.
That 2-1 margin held until the 61st minute, when Kendra MacDonald (Lebanon, N.H.) sent a cross into the middle that Matarozzo one-timed into the back of the net for some insurance.
Endicott could only manage two shots on five corner opportunities down the stretch, and UNE netminider Holly Smith (Peabody, Mass.) turned away the only one of the those tries that came on-target. For the contest, she recorded six saves.
Ventura finished with nine stops for the Gulls, who were out-shot by a 25-12 disparity.
The Nor’easters return home to face Roger Williams University (3-5 CCC) on Saturday at 1 p.m.