MANSFIELD, Pa. - The Saint Michael's College field hockey team took Mansfield (Pa.) University into halftime scoreless before losing a 6-0 decision on Saturday during the Dr. Art DeGenaro Classic at Karl Van Norman Field. The Purple Knights returned to action for the first time since Nov. 2, 2019, facing a Mountie squad that was ranked in the final 2019 national poll.
- Saint Michael's (0-1), Mansfield (1-0)
SAINT MICHAEL'S LEADERS
- First-year Riley O'Connor (Canton, Mass./Canton), 9 saves in 45 minutes
- Sophomore Samantha Shapiro (Wilton, N.Y./Saratoga Springs), 1 save in 15 minutes of relief
- Sophomore Alex Esterling, 2 goals
- Sophomore Saramae Radel, 1 goal, 1 assist
- Sophomore August Lewis, 2 saves in 30 minutes
- Junior Hailey Boda, 2 saves in 30 minutes of relief
- The Purple Knights played their first game since Nov. 2, 2019.
- Saint Michael's is playing in a season-opening tournament for the 12th straight season.
- Thirteen Purple Knights made their college debut, including all nine players who appeared off the bench.
- When Mansfield played last in 2019, it finished the season 10th in the final National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) national poll.
- The Purple Knights were narrowly outgained in shots (8-5) and penalty corners (6-3) during a scoreless opening quarter. The Purple and Gold defense was tested early, as field players blocked four shots during the fifth minute, which kicked off a 58-second stretch that featured five shots and four penalty corners.
- Senior Jenna Puleo (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex/Providence) put the first shot on net for either team, with her seventh-minute bid being denied by Lewis. She had three more shots blocked between the seventh and eighth minutes, all on penalty corners.
- O'Connor's 13th-minute save during a corner set secured the shutout period. She had two more stops in the second stanza, when Puleo also had a shot turned away, and the teams were scoreless at the half.
- O'Connor's stop in the 32nd minute kept the Mounties off the board, and Puleo pushed a shot during a corner sequence wide in the 34th minute.
- Mansfield broke through soon thereafter, netting four goals in a 9:46 span. Radel grabbed the rebound of her own blocked shot and potted the winner at 34:53 before junior Olivia Wagner buried a penalty stroke at 37:31, less than 30 seconds after an O'Connor stop had kept the Purple Knights within one goal.
- Esterling found the back of the net off of a rebound in the 41st minute, capping an initial spurt of three goals in 5:54. She added her second goal with 21 seconds left in the period.
- Puleo nearly spoiled the combined clean sheet but was turned away by Boda 12 seconds into the fourth quarter, and two ensuing penalty corners ended with off-target shots by first-year Addy Fenton (Andover, Mass./Phillips Academy).
- Sophomore Kalin Duke struck in the 51st minute before classmate Ashtyn Price scored at 57:07.
NEXT SAINT MICHAEL'S GAME
- Sunday vs. No. 5 Kutztown (Pa.) University, 11 a.m. at Mansfield.
- The Bears' national ranking is according to the NFHCA.
- Kutztown advanced to the 2019 NCAA Tournament Final Four.