GORHAM, Maine – The Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey program has been quick out of the blocks most times this year, but the quick start has not always resulted in a win.
Saturday, first-year junior Morgan Sanson (Thomaston) scored her first career goal late in the first half to break a scoreless tie, but homestanding University of Southern Maine roared back with two goals in a span of six minutes early in the second half and went on to a 3-1 Little East Conference win Saturday afternoon at Hannaford Field.
Junior Abbie Staples scored twice and senior Dorina Sirois added a goal and an assist for Southern Maine (4-1, 2-0 LEC), a winner of four straight Huskies to a 3-1 win over Eastern Connecticut State University in a Little East Conference field hockey match Saturday afternoon at Hannaford Field.
In its season and home-opener two weeks ago, Eastern netted the first goal of the match in the tenth before the roof caved in in a 6-1 loss to Springfield College.
Coming off an encouraging 5-1 win in its LEC opener over UMass Dartmouth last Saturday, Eastern (1-3, 1-1 LEC) lost to USM for third straight year and for the tenth time in the last 12 meetings.
Staples pulled Southern Maine even early in the second, scoring in the 39th minute drilling in a goal off of an assist from senior Kerigan Demers. Sirois made it 2-1 in favor of Southern Maine six minutes later diving to get her stick on a ball from freshman Samantha Ellis in the 45th. Southern Maine continued to apply offensive pressure, outshooting the Warriors 9-0 in the second half, and added an insurance goal from Stables in the 62nd minute on a feed from Sirois for the 3-1 final.
Junior Khiara Valentine (Morristown, NJ), last year's leading scorer, was credited with her first assist of the season. Sanson was credited with three of the team's six shots, forcing sophomore goalie McKenzie Cormier to make two of her three saves on the day.
Making her fourth start, Eastern sophomore Keira Integlia (Branford) made four saves in falling to 1-3. USM had a 16-6 lead in shots and held the Warriors corner-less, while racking up nine of its own.
Eastern hosts Salem State University in an LEC contest Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., looking for its fourth straight victory over the Vikings. Salem is 0-4 overall, 0-2 in the LEC following Saturday's 4-3 home loss to Fitchburg State University.