GORHAM, Maine – Senior Abbie Staples (Alfred, Maine/Massabesic) scored the game-winning goal and had a goal-saving defensive save in the fourth to power the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 1-0 win over Keene State College in a Little East Conference field hockey game Saturday evening at Hannaford Field.
The win is the first for the Huskies over Keene State since the 2003 Little East Conference championship game, ending a 16-year drought. KSC leads the overall series 30-11. With the victory, Southern Maine improves to 9-8 overall and 7-2 in LEC action. The loss ends a four-game win streak for the Owls who are now 10-6 overall and 8-2 in the Little East.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Staples scored her third goal of the season on a Husky penalty corner. After inserting the ball to classmate Dorina Sirois (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy), Staples received a pass back from Sirois and then slotted the ball to the far post for the 1-0 lead with just 30 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.
KSC outshot USM 6-2 in the second quarter, but the score remained 1-0 at the half as sophomore goalkeeper Lindsay Pych (West Milford, N.J./Morristown-Beard) continued her strong play in net, making three saves.
The Owls continued to control play in the third and fourth quarter outshooting USM 6-0. Keene State looked to have an equalizer goal early in the fourth quarter as Nina Bruno beat Pych, but Staples was there to clear the ball off the line to keep the lead 1-0 USM. KSC held a 13-3 lead in shots and an 8-4 advantage in penalty corners.
Pych earned the win, making six saves (three in each half). It is the Pych's sixth shutout of the season and seventh of her career. Pych's six 2019 shutouts are tied for 10th in USM single-season records. KSC's Rachel Loseby made one save in the loss.
Southern Maine travels for its next contest and will take on Fitchburg State on Wednesday (7:00 pm).