MANSFIELD, Conn. – Junior forward Sydney Hogan (Northford) scored her first two goals of the season and junior goalie Keira Integlia (Branford) posted her second career shutout when the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team opened its Little East Conference season with a 2-0 victory over Salem State University Saturday morning at Rick McCarthy Field.
Hogan, who recorded four goals in her first season as a sophomore transfer last year, gave Integlia the only support she would need in the 23rd minute, then added insurance late in the third quarter to help Eastern (1-3, 1-0 LEC) to its fifth straight win over Salem (3-2, 0-1 LEC) in this series, third straight by shutout.
Integlia was credited with five saves, the same number she collected as the first of two goalies in last year's 5-0 home win over the Vikings. Integlia had been called upon for an average of 16 saves in the first three losses this season.
Eastern managed only a 1-0 halftime lead despite outshooting Salem, 7-3, in the opening 30 minutes. Limited to only four shots by the starting Eastern defense of senior Amy Smith (Trumbull), sophomore Katelyn Miller (Wallingford) and freshman Grace Mangiameli (Suffield) through three periods, Salem had six of its ten shots in the fourth quarter, but could not break through.
In a scoreless game, sophomore goalie Kelli McCarthy stopped a scoring bid by Eastern senior forward Khiara Valentine (Morristown, NJ), but Hogan was there to knock it into the right corner of the goal for her first goal of the season midway through the second quarter.
Eastern had the better of play in the second quarter, but McCarthy made stops on two of Eastern's three shots.
In a more aggressive third quarter, Hogan made it 2-0 soon after Valentine's penalty corner with five minutes left in the quarter, driving the ball past McCarthy into the right corner.
In the fourth quarter, Integlia stopped a shot by senior forward Casie Curtin to keep the shutout intact. Soon after Curtin set up Salem's best scoring chance to that point when she got the ball to freshman forward Melissa, whose shot clanged off the post.
Off to one of its best starts in recent years, Salem had a two-game winning streak stopped. The team's only loss through four matches was a 1-0 home decision to Anna Maria Sept. 5
McCarthy made seven saves in her second loss of the season.
Eastern visits Springfield College Tuesday at 4 p.m.