RINDGE, N.H. (October 10, 2017) – Opening a week in which it hosts a pair of nationally ranked teams, the Franklin Pierce University field hockey team held its own in the first half on Tuesday afternoon against No. 9 Stonehill at Sodexo Field. A second-half onslaught by the Skyhawks would prove too much to contain however, as the visitors came away with a 2-0 win in Northeast-10 Conference play.
With the win, Franklin Pierce falls to 7-6 (4-4 NE10), while first-place Stonehill improves to 10-3 (7-0 NE10). At halftime, with the game still scoreless, Stonehill held narrow advantages of 4-3 in shot attempts, 3-2 in shots on goal and 3-2 in penalty corners. After a one-sided second half, those margins ballooned to 13-5 in shot attempts, 8-3 in shots on goal and 6-2 in penalty corners.
After a first half in which neither side put together much in the way of a credible threat, Stonehill opened the scoring just 6:42 into the second stanza, in the 42nd minute. Junior forward Kacie Smith did all the work herself, as she took the ball in the midfield and beat multiple defenders up the middle of the field while working her way into the circle. From approximately 10 yards in front of the left post, Smith reversed her stick and tucked a shot inside the right post for her nation-leading 30th goal of the season.
The Skyhawks tacked on an insurance marker in the 50th minute, as senior forward Alexandria Sylvia found room to bring the ball toward the circle up the right-wing side. Ultimately, she served the ball towards the net from the edge of the circle, and freshman forward Taylor Ladue was on the other end of the feed to finish off her fifth goal of the year at the left post.
Stonehill had a chance to make it 3-0 in the 55th minute, as Franklin Pierce junior back Sarah Bjorn (Holden, Mass.) used her feet to stop a would-be goal for Smith, resulting in a penalty stroke. Smith took the stroke and lifted it towards the left side of the cage, but senior goalkeeper Meaghan Williams (Salem, N.H.) was able to dive to her right and swat it down to make the save and preserve the 2-0 score line.
Williams (7-6) finished with six saves against eight shots on goal and suffered the loss in net for Franklin Pierce. At the other end of the field, junior Sara Freedman (10-3) stopped all three shots she faced to tally her fifth shutout of the season.
The Ravens return to the field on Saturday, Oct. 14, when they remain home to host No. 6 Pace. Game time is set for 4 p.m. at Sodexo Field.
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). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce field hockey apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).