Field Hockey: Warriors Break Out Early in Overtime, Subdue Western Connecticut in LEC

Field Hockey: Warriors Break Out Early in Overtime, Subdue Western Connecticut in LEC

MANSFIELD, Conn. – First-year senior forward Katie Calnen (Granby) completed a three-on-one break by maneuvering around the goalie and scoring into a vacant net 59 seconds into sudden death overtime in Eastern Connecticut State University's 4-3 Little East Conference victory over Western Connecticut State University Wednesday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Eastern (3-5, 3-3 LEC) trailed by two goals after 25 minutes but scored three of the final four to force the sixth overtime match in this 13-game series. In OT, the Warriors needed less than a minute to defeat Western (3-7, 3-3 LEC) for the sixth straight time, fourth time in overtime.

Western was given the initial possession of overtime but lost possession in the circle. After a quick change of possession, Eastern junior midfielder Tess Parker (Columbia) gained possession near midfield. With only one defender back for Western, Parker centered a breakout line of sophomore forward Lindsey McKeon (Chester) on the left and Calnen on the right. Parker carried 20 yards until sending a pass to McKeon heading into the circle. With one Western defender splitting McKeon and Calnen, McKeon centered a pass past the defender to Calnen as Western freshman keeper Neve Manion went down in attempt to smother the pass. Calnen gained possession, cut inside, and carried around the prone goalie, firing the winning goal into an unprotected goal.

The goal was the first in four-game career of Calnen, who joined the team Sept. 16.Her first point had come on an assist in her first contest this past Saturday.

After sophomore forward Morgan Matthews and sophomore midfielder Jacalyn Doerwald vaulted Western into an early 2-0 lead with goals six minutes apart in the first half, the Warriors surged back to tie it at 2-2 on goals from sophomore Khiara Valentine (Morristown, NJ) and all-time senior scoring leader Alex Kallgren (Dudley, MA).

Valentine, who had a hat trick in Saturday's victory, got the Warriors on the board with 41.1 seconds left in the first half. Kallgren, the program's all-time scoring leader, evened the score six minutes into the second half, and junior midfielder Stephanie Hogan's (Northford) first goal of the season four minutes later gave the Warriors their first lead, 3-2, 11 minutes into the second half. Kallgren and Hogan were both set up on passes from senior defender Katy Jankura (Guilford).

Matthews' second goal of the match and team-leading sixth of the season with 20 minutes left in regulation on a hard drive through traffic produced the game's second and final tie, 3-3.

At left: Katie Calnen

In the final four minutes of regulation, Western came up empty despite a pair of scoring bids,  and Eastern had one legitimate chance in that time. Sophomore forward Carly Matasavage, who had assisted on Doerwald's first goal of the year in the 25th minute, sent a shot from the right of the circle just past the left post with four minuts left, and inside the final minute of regulation, Matthews came up just short of her bid for a hat trick with a shot that carried just left of the post, as well.

Eastern's best chance in the final four minutes of regulation came with 8:35 left, when Kallgren fed senior forward Tia LaFrance Boyce (Pawcatuck) with a forward pass. LaFrance Boyce's redirection of the pass, however, found Manion's pads.

Eastern outshot Western, 24-14, with  Manion making14 saves. Eastern senior Maddie LaRusso (Enfield) was credited with six saves.

Eastern visits Worcester State University Friday at 4 p.m. The Lancers lead the conference with a perfect 5-0 record. Eastern has defeated Worcester two of the last three years, including last season's 1-0 home victory.