SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (October 10, 2019) – The Western New England University field hockey team rallied from a 2-0 first quarter deficit with three unanswered goals to earn a 3-2, overtime victory against Smith College on Thursday afternoon in non-conference action at Golden Bear Stadium.
Sophomore forward Taylor Klesyk (Hamden, Conn.) notched the game-winner for Western New England, while seniors Madison Barron (Lebanon, Pa.) and Jacqueline Clark (Auburn, Mass.) scored in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.
Freshman goalie Lexie Hemstock (Cheshire, Conn.) entered the game at the start of the second quarter and stopped the only shot she faced to earn the win.
Smith's offense was led by senior Vivian Nelson (Edmonton, Alta.) and sophomore Grace Moorhead (Cranston, R.I.), who tallied one goal apiece.
Smith got on the board first just under nine minutes into the game, when senior Morgan Handwerger (Lancaster, Pa.) sent the ball across the crease to Nelson, who redirected the pass into the empty net.
Later in the quarter, the visitors doubled their advantage on an unassisted goal by Moorhead. Following a penalty corner play, junior Bryn Murray (Glastonbury, Conn.) put a shot on target that Western New England freshman goalie Laura Dion (Cumberland, R.I.) was able to make a kick save on. The ball deflected off a Golden Bear defender and right to Moorhead, who capitalized on the opportunity to make it 2-0 in favor of the Pioneers.
After a scoreless second period, Western New England broke through early in the third quarter on a penalty stroke goal by Barron, who buried the ball into the lower left corner of the net.
Still trailing by a goal in the fourth, the Golden Bears equalized with 9:19 left in regulation when Clark redirected a bouncing shot taken by junior Paige Laferriere (Windham, Maine) following a penalty corner.
The score remained tied for the rest of regulation, but Western New England was able to complete its comeback victory just 2:12 into the extra period. Freshman Mackenzie Svenson (Salem, N.H.) forced a Smith turnover in the Golden Bears offensive zone and advanced toward the net, before having her shot kicked away by Pioneers' sophomore goalie Channy Cornell (Arlington, Tex.). Klesyk was waiting at the far post, however, and she collected the rebound before flicking the ball into the net.
• Western New England's win over Smith marks its first victory against the Pioneers since the 2012 campaign.
• After being outshot 12-2 in the first half, the Golden Bears held a 10-2 shot advantage in the second half and overtime.
Western New England (6-6) remains at home to take on Salve Regina in CCC action on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Golden Bears will recognize their seniors prior to the start of the contest. Smith (3-8) hosts Springfield on Saturday at 1 p.m.