STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's College (7-0, 2-0 NAC) defeated Rivier University (3-6, 0-2 NAC), 3-0, in North Atlantic Conference (NAC) field hockey action at Mercy Field on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore defender Meghan Williams (Greenland, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) tallied a pair of assists in the Monks' 2013 home-opener.
After taking six corners in a three-minute spell with no success, the Monks finally put one past Rivier goalkeeper Makenzie Flagg (Shirley, Mass.) on their seventh corner bid, which took place in the 11th minute. Senior forward Rachelle Messuri (Atkinson, N.H.) opened the scoring at the 24:46 mark when she took a pass from Williams, dribbled past a defender and, some traffic in the crease, sent a change-up shot past Flagg to lift the hosts to a 1-0 advantage.
The slim cushion held at halftime and stood until freshman midfielder Kelsey Dumond (Lewiston, Maine) netted her fourth goal of the season 6:16 into the second stanza. Senior midfielder Theresa Hendrix (Scarborough, Maine/Cheverus) ignited the play when she drove past a defender and steered a shot on target, but her attempt was blocked and Dumond, alone in front, delivered the ball into the left corner to make it a 2-0 game.
With the game-clock winding down, Hendrix tallied a goal of her own off a nice pass from Williams to cap the game scoring. Williams, in control near the top of the circle, sent a bounding pass to Hendrix, who was stationed near the left post and shot a one-timer to the right corner past Flagg with just 57 seconds remaining.
Flagg kept her Raiders within reach by making 17 saves in the one-sided contest. Neither SJC goalie, freshman Emma Astbury (Bridgewater, Vt.) nor first-year Mariah Farrell (Vassalboro, Maine) – who logged 15 minutes of mop-up duty, was tested in the conference triumph.
Overall, the Monks registered 31 shots and 26 penalty corners on the afternoon. The Raiders were not credited with a shot and did not attempt a corner in the setback.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 4-0 in the history of the series with Rivier University. Despite 20 saves by Flagg, the Monks edged the Raiders, 4-3 in double overtime, in Nashua, New Hampshire last fall.
Saint Joseph's resumes conference play tomorrow with a 12:00 PM contest versus New England College in 2012 NAC Tournament Quarterfinal – a game won by the Pilgrims, 2-1 - rematch. Rivier also continues NAC play on Sunday with a 1:00 PM tilt at Husson University.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 430-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.