The St. Lawrence University field hockey team lost its first Liberty League contest of the season on Friday night, as Hamilton College scored three goals in a span of 5:23 and held off a late Saint rally to defeat the Scarlet and Brown, 3-2. Following the game, St. Lawrence University proudly recognized legendary coaches Dotty Hall and Don Leet by dedicating the new stadium seating in their honor.
The loss moved St. Lawrence's record to 4-4 (2-1) on the season, while the Continentals moved the 6-1 (3-0) after picking up their third consecutive win.
"I was proud of the way we battled back against a very talented team," said St. Lawrence head coach Fran Grembowicz. "We made a few adjustments defensively in the second half and that worked to keep their offense off the scoreboard, and we can take some positive things going into next weekend's series with Rochester and William Smith."
Though the opening half's statistics were very similar, with Hamilton holding a narrow 12-11 edge in shots and St. Lawrence holding a lead in penalty corners (9-8), it was the visiting Continentals that sprinted out to a 3-0 lead midway through the stanza. Nikki Haskins made it 1-0 at 12:07 when she deflected a shot from Colleen Callaghan over the head of St. Lawrence goalkeeper Nicole Matos.
The Continentals then scored back-to-back goals only 2:17 apart to build a 3-0 lead. Mary Lancaster took a beautiful crossing pass from Katherine Bossler and beat Matos with a low shot inside the far post. Erin McNally then followed at 17:30 with she blasted a shot inside the near post for her fifth goal of the 2010 season.
St. Lawrence would crack the scoreboard at 22:19 when junior Taylor Vogt scored her sixth goal of the season. The Rochester, NY native collected the ball in front of Hamilton's cage and ripped a shot past goalkeeper Molly Brooks to pull the Saints to within two goals at 3-1 before halftime.
The second half was a battle in the midfield, with both teams' defenses doing an excellent job shutting down the offenses in transition. St. Lawrence seniors Michelle Laframboise and Caitlin Estes anchored the Scarlet and Brown, while Hamilton's Catie Torcivia and Leah Cairns worked the back line for the Continentals.
The Saints were able to pull to within one off of penalty corner at 60:23, bringing the score to 3-2. Sophomore Emma Meyer took a pass from senior Brooke Maloney and set up sophomore Ashley Ferenczy who fired a low shot past Brooks into the cage for her second goal of the season.
Though the Saints worked to get the ball into Hamilton's scoring circle in the final minutes, the Continentals were able to retain possession and run out the clock, hanging on for a 3-2 victory.
The visitors finished with a 17-15 advantage in shots, though St. Lawrence closed with a 14-12 lead in penalty corners. Matos suffered the loss despite turning in an eight-save performance, while Brooks made seven stops for Hamilton and earned the victory.
Following the game, a packed crowd honored Coaches Hall and Leet at a dedication ceremony that recognized the new stadium-seating, the resurfacing of North Country Field and an upgraded entrance. University President William Fox, Athletic Director Margie Strait and selected coaches and student-athletes made remarks before Hall and Leet accepted the honor at the podium. Hall coached both the University's field hockey and lacrosse teams, and took the Saints' women's lacrosse team to the NCAA Championship game in 1990. Leet was the men's lacrosse head coach and racked up 251 victories in his illustrious career.
St. Lawrence will be in action again next Friday, October 8 against the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. The game time in scheduled for 4:00pm.