Story written and posted by Anthony Perry, Rivier University Sports Information Director
NASHUA, N.H. – The Rivier University Field Hockey team earned their first win of 2019 with a 2-1 victory this evening over visiting New England College under the lights at Joanne Merrill Field. The Raiders improve to 1-2 overall while the Pilgrims suffer their first loss and fall to 2-1. This was the first win for Rivier over New England College since October 20, 2015 (a 2-0 Raider victory) and they are now 3-6 against the Pilgrims in the all-time series.
The two teams battled hard throughout the opening 15 as it was an even 0-0 draw. Rivier broke the scoreless in the in the 17th minute. Freshman Carissa Letendre ( ) scored her first collegiate goal as she collected a loose ball in front of the net and knocked it home. Minutes later, junior Nicole Mansfield (Acton, Mass.) doubled the lead as she swatted home a perfect feed from senior Jaclyn Fraser (Wilmington, Mass.) and beat the NEC keeper to make it a 2-0 advantage at the break.
The Pilgrims made some halftime adjustments and came out of the break on fire. They applied pressure to the Rivier defense and thought they broke through in the 41st minute. A shot from freshman Makenna Platte (Manchester, N.H.) was able to get past the Raider goalkeeper but junior Kayla Bednarz (Nashua, N.H.) was able to clear the ball before it crossed the red line to preserve the shutout. A minute later, Platte was able to send a feed into the stick of graduate student Brittany Tierney (Ottawa, Ontario) who then was able to find the back of the net and make it a one goal affair at 2-1.
That would be that entire sophomore goalkeeper Katie Olsen (Saugus, Mass.) would need as she made eight saves on nine shots for her first win of the season. New England College freshman keeper Ellie Philben (Harve de Grace, Md.) suffered her first loss of the year as she allowed two goals on six shots (four saves).
Rivier will return to the field on Saturday afternoon as they host Colby-Sawyer College in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action beginning at 1pm. New England College will host Johnson & Wales University on Saturday afternoon in their home opener at Don Melander Field. Game time is set for 2pm.