NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Saint Michael's turned in its best defensive effort in six years on Monday with a 10-4 victory against Southern Connecticut State during Northeast-10 Conference play at Jess Dow Field. The Purple Knights are 2-0 for the first time since 2002, having last started 2-0 in the NE-10 in 2008, while the Owls moved to 0-4 and 0-3.
Saint Michael's had last allowed four goals or fewer during an 18-3 win against Assumption on March 27, 2008. Senior Crystal King totaled one goal and five assists, coming within two helpers of Paula Roche's 30-year-old program mark, while classmate Shannon Murphy netted a hat trick. First-year Ali Gosselin notched two goals, junior Courtney Piper had a marker and a helper, and sophomore Casey Curtin made four saves while notching four ground balls. Curtin held the Owls to a 1-for-7 showing on free-position shots, making two of her stops on eight-meter shots.
Senior Claire Martin junior Kate Boyer and sophomore Steph Bonewald all scored once, and junior Taylor Midgley totaled six ground balls and five caused turnovers. Classmate Melissa Jaskiewicz notched three ground balls, three draw controls and two caused turnovers, and senior Beth Cusimano had three caused turnovers and two ground balls.
Senior Sarah Cebry led the Owls with a goal and two assists, while three others scored once. Graduate student Lynette Martinez collected seven ground balls while causing five turnovers, and sophomore Vanessa Pagano stopped seven shots.
Saint Michael's forged a 4-0 lead in the opening 7:29 thanks to two Murphy goals, both assisted by King, and two points by Piper, including a helper on Bonewald's go-ahead marker at 28:52 of the first half. King made it 5-0 with 14:57 remaining before Southern Connecticut State got on the board 39 seconds later, but the Purple Knights led 7-1 after goals by Gosselin and Martin, both assisted by King. The Owls netted a free-position tally at 4:33, but Murphy capped her hat trick with five seconds left to give the Purple and Gold an 8-2 lead at halftime. The squads traded two goals apiece in the second half, as the hosts never came closer than five goals.