DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team got the first career goals from four different players – -- the first three coming in a span of six minutes early in the second half – to record its first win of the season in a 4-1 Little East Conference victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Saturday afternoon at Cressy Field.
For the second straight conference game, Eastern (1-2, 1-1 LEC) enjoyed a large advantage in shots. After outshooting Plymouth State University, 20-8, in a Wednesday night road loss in their conference opener, the Warriors outshot UMass Dartmouth (0-3, 0-2 LEC), 25-9.
The victory is the second straight for Eastern over UMass Dartmouth, which had won ten straight in the series before the Warriors posted a 2-0 home victory last year at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. The four goals – all coming the second half – are the most for Eastern against the Corsairs in this 21-game series dating back to 1998.
Saturday, seniors Katy Jankura (Guilford) and Tia LaFrance Boyce (Pawtucket), sophomore Khiara Valentine (Morristown, NJ) and freshman Heather Sholtes (Bethel) all connected for their first career goals as the Warriors burst from a scoreless first half. LaFrance Boyce, Jankura and Valentine all found the cage six minutes apart before UMass got on the board in the 51st minute. Sholtes' goal on her first recorded shot with six minutes left restored the three-goal lead.
First-year sophomore Lindsey McKeon (Chester) put up her first career points with a pair of assists, while senior career goal leader Alex Kallgren (Dudley, MA) had two assists to move to within three points of establishing a career record in that category.
In addition to their healthy advantage in shots, the Warriors racked up a 17-4 advantage in penalty corners and has now nearly doubled their opponents total (33-18) in that category through three games.
Senior Maddie LaRusso (Enfield) made four saves for Eastern while senior Allison Burke was called upon for 12 for UMass.
Eastern visits Wesleyan University in a non-conference match Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.