BIDDEFORD, Maine — Nicole Matarozzo and Vonde Saunders each recorded hat tricks to lead top-seeded University of New England past No. 3 Western New England University 7-0 in the final of the 2016 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Field Hockey Championship on Saturday afternoon at the Big Blue Turf.
For a third consecutive season, the Nor’easters (19-3) claim the CCC’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Championship, which will begin on Wednesday. The bracket will be released on NCAA.com late Sunday evening.
UNE is now unbeaten in 17 all-time matches with the Golden Bears, who conclude the year with a 10-10 mark. The result for Big Blue also establishes a new program record for single-season victories.
The hosts struck early and often, as Saunders put one on the board after just 42 seconds of the contest. Kersey Boulay followed in the 4th minute, by way of a penalty stroke, and Saunders found the back of the net again in the 14th minute to make it 3-0. Hannah Buckley assisted both tallies by Saunders.
Matarozzo capped the 1st-half scoring in the 23rd minute, finishing a pass from Bridget Cavanaugh.
The next two markers went for Matarozzo, as well, coming in the 42nd and 48th minutes. As she upped the spread to 6-0 off a feed from Brooke Marshall, Matarozzo became UNE’s career leader in goals with 52, surpassing the previous school-record held by Taryn Flagg.
Saunders wrapped up her six-point day just 74 seconds later, with an assist going to Matarozzo.
Holly Smith logged five saves in the opening frame, and played more than 64 minutes before giving way to Nicole Schena. Schena stopped two shots in the waning moments to preserve the shutout.
For Western New England, which was out-shot by a 22-10 margin, Grace Trupe turned away eight attempts. Dominque Corveddu denied one in the last 15 minutes of action, while Samantha Krumpholz and Brianna Gonyou supported with defensive saves.