Springfield, Mass. - September 14, 2012 - Katie Gill scored twice in a 1:46 span in the second half to propel the Springfield College field hockey team to a 5-3 win over visiting Clark University in both squads New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener on Friday evening.
With the victory, Springfield snaps its two-game skid to improve to 3-2, 1-0 in league play while the Cougars fall to 3-2, 0-1.
Gill finished the night with two goals and an assist and Liz Hurley posted a goal and an assist as well. Timarie Villa made just one save to earn the victory. As a team, Springfield held a 13-5 advantage in shots and a 24-7 cushion in penalty corners.
Mel Melkonian, the NCAA's active leading scorer among all three divisions, posted a goal and an assist in the loss. Talia Fish and Madeleine Lutts each found the back of the cage, while Jordannah Saunders tallied five saves in goal.
Springfield dominated the first half, as the Cougars rarely had possession throughout. The Pride had an incredible 21 penalty corners in the first 35 minutes of play, compared to just three by the visitors.
Melkonian put her mark on the game just 14:16 in off a corner. After receiving a pass from Kiah Murphy, Melkonian made one move to her left before blasting a shot from eight yards out into the back of the cage.
Just 1:51 later, Clark struck again. This time, Melkonian carried the ball over 50 yards by herself before dishing to Lutts on the right post for the Cougars second marker.
Springfield answered with its first goal at the 26:44 mark on a penalty corner. Gill handled the ball and delivered a feed to Kayla Sokol on the doorstep, who stuffed a shot just inside the near post.
The Pride needed just 2:20 to score its next goal to even the contest at two goals apiece. After a scramble ensued in front of the cage, Linnea Quist jammed her shot through the Clark defense for her first collegiate goal.
Springfield would head into the half up 3-2 on Hurley’s goal with no time remaining. The Pride was awarded three penalty corners without any time on the clock, and Hurley finally converted from the left side, finding the bottom right corner.
Much of the second half was played in between the 20 yard lines until the Cougars struck at 54:04. Fish directed a shot just over the outstretched arms of Villa to tie the game at three.
The Pride put the game away for good with two strikes by Gill in a 1:46 span. Springfield regained the lead for good at the 60:12 mark following so great teamwork inside the circle. This time, Hurley was able to connect with Gill, who slotted home a shot from the left wing.
Gill added an insurance goal 1:46 later after Springfield’s first penalty corner of the second half. Sarah Ducharme received the ball from the middle of the circle and found Gill on the along the goal line with an outstanding feed that the first-year was able to put away.
The Pride conclude its six-game homestand on Wednesday evening when it hosts Amherst at 7:00 pm.