MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Sophomore forward Khiara Valentine (Morristown, NJ) set Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey records for goals and points in a match in powering the Warriors to a 5-0 Little East Conference victory over Salem State University Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
Valentine contributed to all of Eastern's (5-6, 4-4 Little East) goals by scoring four and assisting on one as the Warriors moved from a tie for sixth place into a tie for fifth place in the conference with three LEC regular-season matches remaining. The top eight teams qualify for the LEC playoffs.
Valentine gave Eastern a 1-0 lead less than a minute into action against Salem (2-9, 1-7 LEC), made it 2-0 in the 11th minute, and assisted on senior forward Tia LaFrance Boyce's (Pawcatuck) fifth goal of the year in the 17th minute to make it 3-0. Valentine made it 4-0 in the final minutes of the first half, then tacked on her fourth goal with six minutes left.
Valentine, who has ten goals in the last five matches, broke the program record of three goals in a match – which she had equaled Sept. 23 against Framingham State University – and with nine points, broke the record of seven points held by three individuals.
Valentine's 11 goals this year have equalled the fourth-most by a player in a season, two behind Hannah Keiser (2013). She ranks second in the LEC in that category.
Senior goalie Maddie LaRusso (Enfield) needed only three saves to record her second shutout of the year.
Eastern outshot Salem, 29-8 in downing the Vikings for the third straight year after a seven-game losing streak at the hands of Salem.
Eastern hosts Fitchburg State University Tuesday at 4 p.m. in an LEC match. The Falcons are a half-game behind Eastern in the conference.