Purple Knights Fall to No.12 Skyhawls

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's continued a regular-season-ending run of five consecutive games against nationally-ranked teams with a 9-3 loss to No. 12 Stonehill on Thursday at Duffy Field. The Purple Knights, who are 6-7 overall and 4-7 in the Northeast-10 Conference, yielded the fewest goals to the Skyhawks since a meeting on April 20, 2000. Stonehill is now 11-6 and 9-3 while sitting 12th in both national polls.

First-year Ali Gosselin (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) scored while adding three ground balls and a draw control for the hosts, while senior Shannon Murphy (Boxboro, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Regional/UMass) and junior Kate Boyer (Standish, Maine/Bonny Eagle) also scored. Sophomore Casey Curtin (Waltham, Mass./Ursuline Academy) had one save in 28:43 while taking the loss, and first-year Grace Gunning (Norwood, Mass./Norwood) collected five stops in relief.

Senior defender Nicole Buckley (Scituate, Mass./Scituate) turned in five ground balls and four caused turnovers, classmate Claire Martin (Mattapoisett, Mass./Bishop Stang) had three ground balls, a draw control and a caused turnover, junior Sarah Fortin (Dover, N.H./Saint Thomas Aquinas) collected three ground balls, and senior Beth Cusimano (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) caused a pair of turnovers. Sophomore Steph Bonewald (New London, N.H./Proctor Academy) posted two ground balls, two draw controls and two caused turnovers.

Senior Kelsey Shannahan (Mendham, N.J./Morris Catholic) paced Stonehill with a hat trick, and junior Mikayla Couch (Towaco, N.J./DePaul Catholic) and sophomore Caitlin Sweeney (Hollis, N.H./Hollis-Brookline) each scored twice. Junior Ashley Armstrong (Northboro, Mass./Algonquin Regional) made eight stops and scooped four ground balls.

During a contest in which each team had 19 shots and Stonehill actually committed slightly more turnovers, 23-20, and held slim advantages in ground balls (23-22) and draw controls (8-6), the Skyhawks pushed out to a 4-0 lead during the opening 22 minutes of play. Couch scored 4:19 into the game before Shannahan doubled the edge 47 seconds later. They both scored again in the following 16:45 before Murphy got her team on the board with 6:34 left in the half. However, Shannahan won the ensuing draw, and Sweeney tallied 11 seconds after Murphy. Stonehill led 7-1 at the intermission.

Gosselin scored off a free-position attempt at 24:29 of the second half, and Saint Michael's nearly crept within four goals with 16:31 remaining, but a shot hit the post. Stonehill added to its lead just 27 seconds later. Boyer scored at 7:01 with her team playing a woman down, but Shannahan iced the victory with 4:27 remaining.

The Purple Knights complete their regular season on Saturday by hosting fourth-ranked University of New Haven for Senior Day at 11:00 a.m.

2014-04-24



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