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 scored while adding three ground balls and a draw control for the hosts, while senior Shannon Murphy and junior Kate Boyer also scored. Sophomore Casey Curtin had one save in 28:43 while taking the loss, and first-year Grace Gunning collected five stops in relief.
Senior defender Nicole Buckley turned in five ground balls and four caused turnovers, classmate Claire Martin had three ground balls, a draw control and a caused turnover, junior Sarah Fortin collected three ground balls, and senior Beth Cusimano caused a pair of turnovers. Sophomore Steph Bonewald posted two ground balls, two draw controls and two caused turnovers.
Senior Kelsey Shannahan paced Stonehill with a hat trick, and junior Mikayla Couch and sophomore Caitlin Sweeney each scored twice. Junior Ashley Armstrong 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.