Western New England Downed by Wheaton in Home Opener, 5-3

Junior Jessica Clifford recorded a goal and an assist in Western New England's season-opening loss to Wheaton on Sunday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Junior Jessica Clifford recorded a goal and an assist in Western New England's season-opening loss to Wheaton on Sunday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Clark scores two goals for Golden Bears

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (September 2, 2018) – The Western New England University field hockey team opened its season with a 5-3 loss to Wheaton College on Sunday afternoon in non-conference action at Golden Bear Stadium.

Top Performers
Junior forward Jacqueline Clark (Auburn, Mass.) led the Golden Bears with two goals on a team-high five shots, while junior Jessica Clifford (Auburn, Mass.) registered one goal and one assist.

Wheaton sophomore forward Hannah Arkin (New Hyde Park, N.Y.) factored into three of the Lyons' five goals, scoring two herself and assisting on another. Senior Michelle Connolly (Stoughton, Mass.) also recorded two goals, while sophomore Hannah Leclair (Wilton, Maine) handed out a pair of assists.

Game Review
Connolly got the Lyons on the board just 41 seconds into the contest, but Clark evened the score five minutes later on a feed from senior Lana Felice (Pawling, N.Y.).

Arkin set up junior Karin Dion (Cumberland, R.I.) to put Wheaton back in front midway through the half, and the visitors led by the same margin at the break.

Western New England was able to tie the game for the second time just 3:29 into the second half when Clifford scored her first goal of the season with the help of an assist from freshman Taylor Klesyk (Hamden, Conn.).

The contest remained tied 2-2 for almost nine minutes, until Arkin snapped the deadlock at the 47:23 mark. Connolly buried her second of the day just under six minutes later to make it a two-goal game, and Arkin struck again with 7:10 to play to give Wheaton a three-score cushion.

The Golden Bears did manage to close the gap to two (5-3) with less than five minutes remaining on Clark's second goal, but the Lyons held on late to secure the win.

Notes
• Western New England senior goalie Dana Dufour (Gloucester, Mass.) and Wheaton junior goalie Morgan Karnes (Durham, Maine) made four saves each.  
• The Lyons outshot the Golden Bears 14-12, including 11-5 in the second half, but Western New England held an 11-9 advantage in penalty corners.

Up Next
Western New England (0-1) will be on the road for its next four games, beginning with Wednesday afternoon's non-conference contest at Springfield College. Wheaton (1-0) travels to Union next Saturday.