Field Hockey Loses Tight Defensive Contest in Season Opener

Field Hockey Loses Tight Defensive Contest in Season Opener

LEICESTER, Mass. – Regis College battled Becker College throughout the day, but the Hawks were able to open a two-goal lead and then hold on for a 2-1 victory over the Pride Tuesday afternoon in a non-conference collegiate field hockey match at Alumni Field.

The action in the first quarter went back and forth, with Regis' best opportunity coming late in the period. With four minutes left in the opening quarter, a shot by Hope Celli (Pembroke, Mass.) was turned away by Becker goalie Baileigh Griese, and then Sheridan Blaha (Waltham, Mass.) followed with her own shot attempt that went wide.

Becker (1-1) nearly scored at the end of the first quarter, but Kylian Kelly's shot was blocked by Regis goalie Hope Winkin (Winslow, Maine). Winkin would make two saves in the first six minutes of the second quarter, while Griese picked up a save on a shot by Mary Costantino (Abington, Mass.) to keep the match scoreless.

The Hawks were awarded a penalty corner with six seconds left in the second quarter, but Winkin blocked a shot by Kelly and Joslyn O'Brien (Petersham, Mass.) kept a shot by Emily Iacovelli out of the net. However, right before the halftime buzzer, Samantha Carter converted on her scoring opportunity to give the home team a 1-0 advantage.

Winkin would keep the Pride within one goal early in the third quarter by saving consecutive shots by Kessa Vilnaigre. Meanwhile, Regis received six penalty corner chances in the first nine minutes of the second half, but only a shot by Ashley Chipman (Stoughton, Mass.) was on target, and Griese was able to turn it away.

Regis enjoyed one more penalty corner opportunity with 20 seconds left in the third quarter, but Nora Buck (Shawmut, Maine) could not convert on consecutive shots, keeping the Pride behind by one heading into the final quarter. With 7:40 remaining in regulation, Lauren Niemann set up Madeline Fortenbaugh to give the Hawks a two-goal lead.

The Pride kept battling, earning a penalty corner chance with 25 seconds left on the clock. Griese saved a shot by Blaha, but Regis received a penalty stroke opportunity in the ensuing scramble, and Blaha converted for her first career collegiate goal. However, only a few seconds needed to be played before the final buzzer.

Winkin finished the match with seven saves, while seven of Griese's nine saves came in the second half to hold off a potential Pride comeback. Regis finished with more shots than Becker, 18-16, led by Blaha with six shots.

Regis (0-1) hosts Western Connecticut State Saturday, Sept. 7, starting at 12 p.m. at Regis Stadium. The Colonials are 2-0 heading into a home match against Elms Wednesday, Sept. 4.