Second-Half Surge Gives Maine Field Hockey Its First Conference Win
ORONO, Maine – The Maine field hockey team rode a second-half offensive surge as the squad opened up America East play with a 4-0 victory over UMass-Lowell at the UMaine Field Hockey Complex, Saturday afternoon. The Black Bears tallied three second-half markers to improve to 5-4 overall, and 1-0 in conference.
Maine jumped out to the early 1-0 advantage in the fifth minute as Annabelle Hamilton scored her sixth of the season. The Black Bears scored off a penalty corner as Hamilton, who saw that River Hawk goalkeeper Melanie Hopkins had come out to play the shot, lofted a shot past the netminder. Both Nicole Sevey and Becca Paradee were credited with assists.
It wasn't until the second half that Maine struck again. Just 13 seconds after the start of the half, Danielle Aviani rushed down the left sideline and fed a pass across the goal mouth to a sprawling Holly Stewart. Stewart connected on the pass, scoring her sixth goal of the season, which gave the Black Bears a 2-0 lead.
Maine continued to pour on the offense as Fran Rowley tallied her first collegiate goal in the 49th minute, intercepting a River Hawk pass and fired a shot past Hopkins to make it 3-0.
Jessica Skillings capped the Black Bear scoring in the 59th minute of play, recording her first goal of the season, tapping in a Stewart pass, to give Maine the 4-0 advantage.
Starting goalkeeper Natasha Ford entered the game with a 140-minute scoreless streak that her and her defense extended by another game. Maine held UMass-Lowell without a goal for the duration of the contest, making it three-straight games without being scored on. Maine limited the River Hawks to five shots with two shots on goal.
Hopkins made 10 saves while allowing four goals in the losing effort.
Hamilton remained the points leader for the team as she now has 15, while Holly Stewart keeps pace with her one goal and one assist afternoon, as she now has 14 points.
While UMass-Lowell was limited with their scoring opportunities, Jahna Driscoll led all River Hawk players with two shots.
The Black Bears now have a week to prepare for possibly its toughest conference test in 2013-14, hosting No. 11 Albany on Oct. 5. That match will take place at 12 p.m. Maine will then host Bryant on Oct. 6, starting at 1 p.m.