EASTON, Mass. – Senior Erin Collins of the fourth-ranked Saint Anselm College field hockey team scored the game-winning goal on Tuesday with time expired in regulation, elevating the Hawks to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Stonehill College.
Saint Anselm, ranked fourth in NCAA Division II according to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, improves to 16-1 on the year and to 10-1 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents. Stonehill, the sixth-ranked team in the nation, entered the game without a loss in league play all year, falling to 13-4 and to 10-1 against NE10 foes with the result.
With only four seconds left in regulation time, the Hawks called a timeout in advance of what was proven to be the final penalty corner of the game. Collins injected the corner and immediately crashed the left post where her initial shot was stopped by a sprawling Sara Freedman. Collecting her own rebound, Collins lifted her shot into the open net to knock off the last remaining undefeated squad in the conference.
Saint Anselm did not lead until Collins' game-winning strike as Kacie Smith scored for Stonehill only 7:56 into the contest. Emma Kincaid scored her 10th goal of the season shortly thereafter off of a pass from Katie Neyland, tying the score at one with 16:40 expired in the first half.
Smith, who broke the Stonehill and NE10 single-season goal scoring record during the game, scored her 39th goal of the season less than three minutes after Kincaid's equalizer, recreating a one-goal lead for the hosts. Kincaid once again drew the score even, firing a drive from the top of the arc for her 11th tally of the season to tie her with Kristina Katsikis '12 for first place all-time in career goal scoring (28).
The second half was hotly contested as a total of four cards were issued to Stonehill in the final 23:19 of regulation time. Collins' game-winning goal came on her team's seventh penalty corner of the second half as the Hawks outshot the Skyhawks by a 22-to-9 margin and were awarded all but one corner in the final 35 minutes.
Freshman Julia Hand made two saves on four shots, earning the win for Saint Anselm. Freedman made 10 saves but yielded three goals, drawing the defeat.
The Hawks will look to finish their season on a high note, hosting American International on Friday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. under the lights at Grappone Stadium. A Saint Anselm victory would guarantee at least a share of the NE10 Regular Season Championship – the win paired with a Stonehill loss to LIU Post would give the Hawks the outright regular season title.