Smith netted both Stonehill goals, including her NE10 record 39th of the season. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Collins knocks in own rebound off penalty corner after time expires to lift Hawks
EASTON, Mass. (October 24, 2017) – Saint Anselm College, ranked No. 4 in this week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, scored off a corner with time expired to cap a 3-2 comeback win over No. 6 Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference field hockey action on Timothy J. Coughlin '80 Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight.
Senior back Erin Collins (Auburn, Massachusetts/Auburn) knocked in her own rebound at the near post following her corner after regulation time had expired to cap a two-goal second half for Saint Anselm, to snap Stonehill's 11-game win streak and keep the Skyhawks from clinching their third NE10 regular season championship. Stonehill can still claim at least a share of the regular season title with a win in its regular season finale at No. 5 LIU Post on Saturday, needing a Saint Anselm loss in its final regular season game to claim the top seed in next week's NE10 Tournament.
Senior Emma Kincaid (West Bridgewater, Massachusetts/West Bridgewater) scored Saint Anselm's first two goals, while classmate Katie Neyland (Boxborough, Massachusetts/Acton-Boxborough) dished an assist. Freshman Julia Hand (Reading, Massachusetts/Reading) made both of her saves in the first half for the Hawks as the visitors finished with a 22-9 advantage for shots, including 15-2 in the second half to aid in erasing a 2-1 halftime deficit. Junior Sara Freedman (Hopkinton, Massachusetts/Hopkinton) finished the game with ten stops, marking her fourth double-figure save effort of the season, and giving her 332 saves to move within 24 stops of the program's career mark of 356 saves by Cindy Pultz '03.
Junior All-American Kacie Smith (Norwood, Massachusetts/Norwood) scored both Stonehill goals in the first half, breaking the program and NE10 single-season record for goals with her 39th of the season. She breaks the previous dual record of 38 goals by former Skyhawks All-American Erika Kelly '16 in 2013, and she is just a goal shy of the NCAA Division II record of 40 goals by Jamie Vanartsdalen from Bloomsburg University in 2008. Smith increased her program and NE10 scoring record to 95 points with the two goals tonight, moving within seven points of Vanartsdalen's Division II mark of 102 in 2008.
Freedman made ten saves in the Skyhawks cage, moving within rage of the program's career record. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Smith opened the scoring against the run of play 7:56 into the contest, taking the possession down the right side of the field on a counterattack, before cutting to the right and slotting a low shot into the left corner of the cage. Saint Anselm equalized with Kincaid's first of the night at 16:40 when she tipped in a pass from the top of the circle by Neyland from in front of the goalkeeper into the right side of the cage.
Smith restored Stonehill's lead less than three minutes later with a drive from the top of the arc that deflected off a defender and into the left side of the goal at 19:29 for her record 39th goal of the season. It also marks her 11th multi-goal game of the year, having now scored in 16 of the Skyhawks 17 games this fall.
Kincaid again leveled the score for Saint Anselm, 6:41 into the second half, with a drive from the top of the arc into the left side off a restart for her 11th goal of the year. The game seemed destined for overtime, despite the Hawks heavy advantage in goals for the second half. However, Saint Anselm was able to force a corner with time running out. After a timeout with four-seconds left. Collins inserted the corner and went immediately to the near post, where she pounced on a loose ball. While Freedman was able to save the initial shot, Collins batted in the rebound for her fifth goal of the year to send the Hawks home victorious.
In addition to halting Stonehill's 11-game win streak, Saint Anselm also handed the Skyhawks their first home loss of the year (7-1), snapping a run of 12-straight wins at W.B. Mason Stadium dating back to a 3-0 setback to LIU Post on September 24 of last season.
Stonehill (13-4, 10-1 NE10) closes out the regular season on the road at No. 5 LIU Post on Saturday at noon. The Skyhawks have already sealed a first round bye for next week's NE10 Tournament and will host a semifinal round contest at W.B. Mason Stadium next Friday, November 3 (Time TBA). Saint Anselm (16-1, 10-1 NE10) hosts American International College in its last regular season matchup on Friday at 6 p.m.
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