Sophomore Erika Kelly leads Division II in scoring and goals scored. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)
BY Jim Fenton
Brockton Enterprise Staff Writer
EASTON — One season after finishing below .500, the Stonehill College field hockey team is off to a perfect start.
The Skyhawks enter tonight's game against Saint Anselm College at W.B. Mason Stadium with a 10-0 record, including 3-0 in the Northeast-10 Conference, and are ranked fourth in the national Division 2 poll.
Stonehill opened the season by traveling to Pennsylvania, where it defeated Bloomsburg University and East Stroudsburg University to get the 10-game winning streak going.
"I knew we had some pretty good talent,'' said Skyhawks coach Shelly Morris, now in her sixth season. "But I don't know if you asked me before the season if we'd be 10-0 at this point if I would have said yes. Once we got a couple of Pennsylvania games out of the way, there was a whole new confidence, and the team has just taken it from there.''
Stonehill has outscored its opponents, 37-18, and leading the offense is sophomore Erika Kelly, who is the national Div. 2 leader with 19 goals.
Kelly is one goal away from tying the program's single-season record set by Claire Hourihan, who had 20 goals in 2008 and 2009. Kelly has 39 points, nine away from equaling Hourihan's school record set in 2008.
"I can't ask for more from that kid,'' said Morris. "She was a role player last year (getting eight goals and two assists), but she kind of let go in the spring and started playing like she did in high school.
"She's really come into her own. Now, there are one or two players on her trying to disrupt her every game, but she still is finding ways to score goals.''
Junior goalkeeper Elizabeth Genovese has started all 10 games and has a 1.78 goals-against average.
Morris credits the leadership of Davis, Ingersoll and Gina Sheehan, who are four-year starters and played on the 2010 team that advanced to the NCAA semifinal round.
Stonehill has eight regular-season games remaining, including three of the next four at home.
"As we go along, there's always that looming zero on the end of our record, but we've done a good job of taking it opponent by opponent,'' said Morris, whose team went 9-10 a year ago.