HOOKSETT, N.H. - Behind a seven-point day from senior Jenna Puleo (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex/Providence), the Saint Michael's College field hockey team knocked off No. 9 Southern New Hampshire University, 5-2, on Wednesday at Larkin Field.
The Purple Knights downed their first nationally-ranked foe since 2015, as the Penmen qualified for the 2019 NCAA Tournament and earned a ranking in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) preseason poll. The Northeast-10 Conference counterparts took part in a non-league contest.
- Saint Michael's (1-2), Southern New Hampshire (0-2)
SAINT MICHAEL'S LEADERS
- Senior Jenna Puleo (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex/Providence), 2 goals, 3 assists
- Senior Bonnie Gillis (Milford, N.H./Bishop Guertin), 1 goal
- Junior Erickson Richard (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand), 1 goal (1st career)
- First-year Abby Farrington (Bennington, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy), 1 goal (1st career)
- First-year Riley O'Connor (Canton, Mass./Canton), 14 saves (career high)
- Senior Erin Hammer (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa), 1 defensive save
- Junior Sofie Wolters, 1 goal
- First-year Annemartine Christis, 1 goal
- Senior Emily Campbell, 2 assists
- Graduate student Kate Pigsley, 12 saves
- The Purple Knights downed a nationally-ranked team for the first time since defeating Assumption University on Oct. 24, 2015.
- Saint Michael's was only outshot 23-19 and held a 13-5 advantage in the second half. The Penmen also carried a narrow 10-8 edge in penalty corners.
- Southern New Hampshire was ninth in the latest National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) national poll and qualified for the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
- The Purple Knights finished off a three-game run against squads ranked in the final 2019 NFHCA national poll, and took on their second straight nationally-ranked foe after facing No. 5 Kutztown (Pa.) University on Sunday.
- The Purple and Gold bested the Penmen for the first time since Oct. 13, 2015.
- Puleo notched her sixth multi-goal game in 21 career outings as a Purple Knight, and second in a row. She came within one assist of Mandee Galbraith's '97 school record, set on Oct. 29, 1996.
- O'Connor made 13 of her 14 saves in the first half.
- Thanks in large part to O'Connor, who made 13 saves in the first half, the Purple Knights entered halftime up 2-0, while Hammer's defensive save came in the ninth minute of a scoreless affair.
- Late in the opening quarter, sophomore Petra Bajuk (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) crossed into the circle, where Puleo tipped the ball along to Richard, who finished into the right side of the net at 12:29 with Pigsley drawn out.
- The Purple Knights doubled their lead at 21:28, with Puleo's pass during a penalty corner set finding Farrington, who backhanded a shot into the lower left corner.
- Early in the third quarter, Saint Michael's came into possession in its own end, where Farrington began a breakout with a pass through the midfield to Puleo. After carrying further into the Penmen end, Puleo sent a through ball behind the defense to Gillis, who maneuvered central and went five-hole on Pigsley at 30:24.
- Just 2:40 later, Puleo grabbed her own rebound and scored from a tough angle at the left end line, also going five-hole, making it 4-0.
- Wolters got the hosts on the board at 37:24 thanks to Campbell's first assist.
- Early in the fourth quarter, sophomore Bridgie Loughlin's (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) centering pass in the circle found Puleo, whose backhanded shot went off a defender, up and in at 47:11.
- Christis potted the Penmen's second goal at 53:37, with Campbell again lending a hand.
NEXT SAINT MICHAEL'S GAME
- Saturday at the University of New Haven, 1 p.m.