MANCHESTER, N.H. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College field hockey team posted its sixth consecutive shutout on Wednesday, downing the Purple Knights from Saint Michael's College at Grappone Stadium by a 4-0 margin.
No. 4-ranked Saint Anselm, the lone team in NCAA Division II to have not conceded a goal this season, moves to 6-0 overall on the year and to 4-0 in league play. Saint Michael's remains in search of its first win through seven games.
The Hawks yielded only two shots by the Purple Knights. Saint Anselm has not given up more than five shots in a game all season and own a shot differential of 104-to-16 on the year. Offensively, the Hawks have scored 22 goals with 14 assists for 58 points (22-14=58) while keeping opponents scoreless.
Junior Ericka Meissner (Falmouth, Mass.) put the Hawks ahead only 13:53 into the contest. On a penalty corner, sophomore Andrea McNeil (Canton, Mass.) used the backhand to push the ball toward the left post for Meissner to swipe home.
Junior Kendall Clifford (South Easton, Mass.) sent home a booming blast from just inside the arc with under 30 seconds to go in the first half. The ball was sent in from 25 yards out toward senior Mary Nee (Canton, Mass.), who kept the ball moving to an unmarked Clifford from 10 yards out.
Sophomore Carly LaCasse (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) upped the Hawks lead to 3-0 in the game's 33rd minute. Friend sent a long pass in toward the goal mouth through traffic. LaCasse settled the ball down and put the ball past the Saint Michael's backstop for the strike.
McNeil picked up her first goal of the season with under 15 minutes to go in regulation time. Just after a penalty corner, sophomore Sarah Bagley (North Andover, Mass.) played a ball in front that McNeil picked out of the legs of a Purple Knights defender. From about five yards out, she scooped the ball home to give her a multiple-point afternoon.
Hawks goalkeeper Julia Hand (Reading, Mass.) secured the victory, improving to 6-0 on the year after not facing a shot. Classmate Molly Dingley (Manchester, Vt.) entered in relief, making two saves in the second half of action.
Saint Anselm hits the road for a 1 p.m. game at New Haven on Saturday, Sept. 28. The Hawks are 2-0 against the fledgling Chargers program, having outscored New Haven by a combined 16-0 margin in those contests.