Levins’ Second Hat Trick of Season Helps Field Hockey Double Up No. 10 Bentley, 4-2
Senior breaks own program record for goals in a season
Levins scored three goals on Wednesday night at Bentley for her second career hat trick, and also pushed her season goal total to 15, a new program record.
WALTHAM, Mass. (October 12, 2011) – Senior forward Tia Levins (Manchester, Maine) scored three goals and later assisted on another on Wednesday night to lead the Franklin Pierce University field hockey team to a 4-2 road win over No. 10 nationally ranked Bentley in Northeast-10 Conference play. Levins' first goal of the game was her 13th of the season, establishing a new program record.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 7-8 (4-3 Northeast-10), while Bentley falls to 6-7 (3-3 Northeast-10). The victory completed a two-game season sweep of Bentley by the Ravens, marking the first time in program history Franklin Pierce has downed the Falcons more than once in a season.
Levins' three goals gave her the seventh hat trick in program history, and she became just the second player in school history to record more than one hat trick in her career, with the other being a four-goal outing at Southern Connecticut State on Sept. 24. Levins is the first player in school history to tally two hat tricks in the same season. The three goals left her with 15 on the season, bettering her own program record of 12, set last year.
After her three-goal barrage, Levins added an assist on the fourth Franklin Pierce goal, leaving her with a seven-point night, the third-best offensive outing in school history. She now holds two of the top three single-game point totals, as the four goals against SCSU equaled an eight-point night. The school record sits with Kayla Simeone '11, who notched nine points with four goals and an assist against Saint Anselm on Sept. 29, 2010.
Also into the record book for Franklin Pierce on Wednesday night was junior midfielder Megan Bird (Laconia, N.H.), who had two assists. The first was her sixth of the season, tying her with senior forward Danielle Dolan (West Brookfield, Mass.) for the team lead and making her the fourth Raven to share the school record for most assists in a season. Later, she would take sole possession of the record for the time being with her seventh assist of the campaign.
After the first 18 minutes went without a goal, the two teams traded goals in a span of just 100 seconds. First, Bentley struck at 18:53 of the first half, as junior midfielder Hannah Gerry sent the ball towards the cage from the left wing. The ball was deflected away by the defense amidst a scramble out front, but the deflection went straight to junior midfielder Kaitlyn Marcinek, who one-timed it into the empty cage for her second goal of the season.
Franklin Pierce would knot the game just 1:40 later in the aftermath of a penalty corner. Junior midfielder Megan Bird (Laconia, N.H.) wound up with the ball on the right side of the circle. She sent the ball towards the net and the pass found Levins in front of the left post. Levins put the ball home to make it 1-1, and the score would remain locked through the end of the first half.
The Ravens came out of the halftime break firing on all cylinders, finding the back of the cage three times in the opening 10:46 to break the game open at 4-1. Levins gave the Ravens the lead for good just 2:21 into the second stanza. After a shot by sophomore midfielder Alesia Gleason (Harwich, Mass.) was kicked aside by Bentley junior goalkeeper Julia Powell, Levins stuffed the rebound in to make it 2-1.
From there, Levins would need just 2:40 to complete her second hat trick of the season, as she struck again 5:01 into the second half. This time, the pass came through the center of the circle from Bird and led to a scramble of sticks searching for the ball in front of the right post after the ball slipped past Powell. Levins' stick found it first and pushed it over the line to give Franklin Pierce a 3-1 lead.
The goal prompted Bentley to use its timeout, and the Falcons briefly responded out of the break, as freshman back Brittany Lepore (Barnstable, Mass.) made a defensive save, just 2:09 after the final Levins goal, on a shot by Bentley senior midfielder Stephanie Sideris that was headed for the inside of the left post. Sideris' follow-up effort would whistle wide of the cage a few seconds later, ending the Bentley surge.
Just over three minutes later, at the other end of the field, Levins would lend a helping hand this time as the Ravens made it 4-1. With the ball on the left side of the circle, Levins found enough room through the middle to slip a pass to Dolan, who was open to fire it to the back of the cage for her fourth goal of the season.
Bentley turned up the heat for the remainder of the evening, as Franklin Pierce looked to protect the three-goal lead, but the Falcons were simply left without enough time to mount a comeback. Bentley was able to cut the lead to 4-2 just under five minutes after the Dolan goal, when junior forward Nicole Dion put home her fifth goal of the season off a pass from Sideris. However, the Raven defense would hold the rest of the way for the two-goal victory.
Senior goalkeeper Brittany Nyzio (Attleboro, Mass.) made nine saves against 11 shots on her cage to pick up the win (6-6) in front of the net for Franklin Pierce. It was the 22nd victory of her career, extending her own program record. Powell stopped seven of the 11 shots sent her way and took the loss (6-7) between the pipes for Bentley.
The Ravens return to the field on Saturday, Oct. 15, when they travel to Saint Michael's for a Northeast-10 Conference contest. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at Duffy Field in Colchester, Vt. Franklin Pierce next plays at home on Thursday, Oct. 20, against Stonehill at 6 p.m.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics).