By James Duffy, news correspondent
Over the weekend, the Northeastern University (NU) field hockey team (3-7) split a pair of games against Monmouth University and the University of Maine, putting up strong performances and rebounding from a three-game losing streak. The skid ended when NU beat Monmouth on Friday by a score of 5-4. The team fell just short on Sunday in Orono, Maine, losing 2-1.
On Friday afternoon, hosting the Monmouth Hawks, the NU offense came out in full force. The team fired 33 shots towards sophomore goalkeeper Christen Piersanti, five of which reached the back of the net.
Junior midfielder Natalie Stewart was one Husky with a particularly strong outing, notching two goals and adding an assist, but senior forward Vanessa Pryor was the key to winning. With time running out in regulation, NU drew a penalty corner, and senior back Kate Carlson, set up by Stewart, put a shot on net that was turned away. Pryor picked up the rebound and fired it home for the win.
“It was a scrappy play,” Pryor said of her last-second goal. “I just happened to be the one who hit it last.”
The attack was firing on all cylinders at Dedham Field on Friday, with additional goals coming from Carlson and freshman forward June Curry-Lindahl.
The Huskies scored five goals, the most in a single game all season. The offensive dominance offered some relief for junior goalie Becky Garner, who stopped four of the eight shots she faced.
NU was unable to string together a winning streak and fell to the Maine Black Bears on Sunday.
Maine, improving to 9-2 with the win, secured the lead five minutes into the second half with a goal from senior midfielder Marissa Shaw. They held onto the lead for the rest of the game.
Garner stopped three shots on the day but was outperformed by sophomores Emma Cochran and Emily Corbet in net for Maine, who combined to stop 10 shots and stifle the hot Husky offense.
Vanessa Pryor struck again, scoring the only goal for NU and finding the back of the net in her second straight game. Along with Pryor, Stewart and Carlson continued to lead the offense, combining for nine shots with seven on goal.
Despite the loss, the Huskies played a strong game against a talented Maine team, currently ranked No. 25 in the nation.
The Huskies will face their first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opponent on Oct. 2 when they host Drexel University.
“It starts now,” Pryor said. “We’re excited for CAA play, this is what the season is all about.”
Photo courtesy Kevin Murray, Northeastern Athletics