WORCESTER, Mass. - Three different Lancers found the back of the net on Tuesday evening as the Worcester State University field hockey team dealt Keene State College its first Little East Conference loss of the season by a score of 3-1 at a rainy Coughlin Field.
With the win, the Lancers improve to 5-5 overall on the season and 4-2 in the Little East. The Owls drop to 9-2 and 5-1 in the LEC.
Worcester State wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the contest, as sophomore Sarah Duff (Warren, Mass.) tallied her second goal of the season just 44 seconds into the game. Duff took a feed from senior Jessica Wilding (Somerset, Mass.) off a penalty corner and quickly fired a rocket past Keene State goalkeeper Rachel Loseby (Hartford, Vt.) to put Worcester State on top 1-0.
Just under 15 minutes later, senior Michaila Parent (Westborough, Mass.) popped home goal number 10 of the season to double the Lancer advantage to 2-0. A long ball was played in from along the right sideline by junior Sophia Monopoli (Worcester, Mass.) that managed to avoid a maze of Owl sticks and find Parent, who defeated Loseby to the short side, putting the Lancers up by a pair.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Lancers extended their lead to three as junior Olivia Antonelli (Westford, Mass.) put home her eighth goal of the season. Parent recorded an assist on the goal, feeding the junior from the right side of the goal mouth before Antonelli whacked the ball past a sprawling Loseby for the 3-0 lead.
Keene State held a heavy territorial advantage in the second half, but could only muster one of the three goals needed to complete the comeback. With just under seven and a half minutes left to play, senior Julia Babbitt (Haddam, Conn.) shoveled one into the net off a pass from freshman Hayleigh LeTourneau (Bristol, N.H.) to end the Lancer shutout, but it would prove too little, too late as the Lancers prevailed. Keene State led Worcester State 10-0 on penalty corners and 16-1 on shots in the second half, but the comeback bid still fell short.
Loseby made one save in her losing effort, dropping to 9-2 on the season. Freshman goalkeeper Jess Hopkins (Chelmsford, Mass.) turned in arguably her strongest outing of the season, making eight saves (six of which in the second half) to pick up the victory. Sophomore defender Coley Hayes (Norwood, Mass.) made a defensive save in the second half as well for the Lancers.
Next up for Worcester State, they'll look to maintain their momentum as they host Anna Maria at Coughlin Field on Thursday evening. Keene State will attempt to return to the win column the same evening when they host #18 Amherst College.