SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (September 1, 2007) – The Springfield College field hockey team defeated Rensselaer, 5-1, this morning in the first round of the Zenaty Invitational, hosted by Springfield College on newly renamed and newly resurfaced Stagg Field (formerly known as Benedum Field). In the other first-round contest played this afternoon, Worcester State defeated Western New England College, 2-1, in sudden death overtime.
The tourney is named for Dottie Potter Zenaty, head field hockey coach at Springfield College for a 34-year period. With 377 victories, she is the winningest coach in New England college field hockey history.
Ranked #15 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division III preseason poll, Springfield found itself trailing, 1-0, just 6:44 into the match when RPI junior forward Kerri Clark (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) tallied the first goal. She was assisted by junior forward Sara Stylinski (Southington, Conn.).
But junior forward Jane Kelleher (Chatham, Mass.) scored two goals in a rapid-fire span of 1:42 in the latter stages of the first half to give the Pride a 2-1 edge at the intermission. The first of Kelleher’s goals was assisted by senior forward Brittany Veazie (Dexter, Me.), the reigning New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Player of the Year, with 10:09 remaining in the half. Kelleher’s second goal with 7:27 left in the half was unassisted.
The second stanza pretty much belonged to the Pride. The first goal of that half was scored by sophomore forward Allie Baier (Farmington, Conn.), assisted by junior midfielder Allie Eisle (Walton, N.Y.) with 14:20 left. Veazie then took over by scoring the game’s final two goals. Her first came with 7:46 left and was unassisted. Her second came with 3:30 left and was assisted by freshman forward Megan Dobson (Longmeadow, Mass.).
Springfield wound up outshooting the Red Hawks of Rensselaer, 27-8. Of RPI’s eight shots, seven were credited in the first half. The Pride’s senior goalkeeper Emma Kaplan (Ridgefield, Conn.) was credited with six saves, while giving up the lone goal. For RPI, freshman goalkeeper Lauren Fernandes (Orange, Ohio) was credited with 21 saves, of which 14 came in the first half.
In the second game of the day, Worcester State took a 1-0 lead into the half on the strength of an unassisted goal by junior forward Ginelle Blais (Marlboro, Mass.). That score came with 21:53 left in that half.
But WNEC came back to tie matters with 12:16 remaining in the game when senior forward Cori Eggert (Denville, N.J.) tallied. Her goal was also unassisted.
Both teams had opportunities to score at the end of regulation and within the first 10 minutes of the first sudden death overtime. Finally, with 4:50 left in that overtime session, the Lancers scored on a goal by freshman forward Angela Johnson (Ashby, Mass.), again unassisted.
For the Golden Bears of WNEC, senior Emilie Donka (White River Jct., Vt.) was credited with 21 saves in goal, including five in overtime. For WSC, senior goalkeeper Erin MacDonald (Dedham, Mass.) had 16 saves. Worcester State outshot WNEC, 23-17.
Springfield, the tourney’s defending champion, will now appear in the championship game Sunday at 1 pm versus Worcester State. The consolation game will take place Sunday at 11 am between WNEC and Rensselaer.