DANBURY, CT – Despite a game-high 11 saves from junior goalkeeper Neve Manion (Newington, CT), the Western Connecticut State University field hockey squad fell to visiting Little East Conference foe Worcester State, 3-1, in the regular season finale for both teams on Saturday at the Westside Athletic Complex.
With the loss, the Colonials finished the slate at 14-4 overall and 10-2 in conference play, while the Lancers moved to 15-4 and 11-1. WestConn returns to action as the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Little East Conference tournament. They will host a team to be determined on Tuesday. Worcester State earned the top spot and a first round bye. They will host a semifinal matchup on Thursday.
"It was a hard fought and competitive game from the starting whistle. Both teams left their hearts out there," said WestConn head coach Dani McDonnell following the tough loss. "Congratulations to Worcester State on capturing the regular season championship. We're looking forward to our home playoff game on Tuesday," she added.
The Lancers got on the board first less than six minutes into the contest when senior forward Sophia Monopoli (Worcester, MA) tallied the first of her two goals on the day, a shot from point blank past the sprawling right leg of Manion.
The Colonials retaliated senior forward Carly Matasavage (Middlebury, CT) gathered a rebound and canned her 12th goal of the season, deadlocking the count at 1-1 in the second quarter.
The visitors took the lead for good in the third when Monopoli chipped in a rebound, marking her 10th goal of the campaign. WestConn responded with heavy pressure and had a pair of shots smothered just before the goal line. Lancer senior forward Olivia Antonelli (Westford, MA) added an insurance tally in the fourth when she redirected a Monopoli pass into the open side of the cage.
It also marked the final regular season home contest for WestConn seniors Lili Dickey (Westbrook, CT), Shannon Lynch (Sandy Hook, CT), Jacalyn Doerwald (Washington, CT), Melissa Krim (South Easton, MA), Morgan Matthews (Bethel, CT), and Matasavage.