(With contributions from UNE Sports Information)
BIDDEFORD, Maine – Vonde Saunders scored three goals to earn a hat trick as the University of New England Noreasters defeated the University of Southern Maine Huskies 5-0 in a non-conference field hockey game Thursday evening at the Big Blue Turft.
The win is the second straight for the Noreasters, who improve to 11-2 overall and remain undefeated at home at 6-0. UNE is in the also receiving votes category of the latest National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Top 20 Poll. Southern Maine drops its second straight game to stand at 5-8 overall. Six of the Huskies' eight losses have been on the road.
Saunders broke open a scoreless contest in the 27th minute, stuffing home a rebound off her own shot. Similarly, Nicole Matarozzo (Wolfeboro, N.H.) scored just 2:10 later to double the cushion, and Saunders wasted little time (1:12) upping the margin to three with a goal off a feed from Olivia Madore (Lyman, Maine).
In the 42nd minute, Madore helped Hannah Buckley (Leominster, Mass.) find her way into the scoring column, and then Madore tallied a third assist of the game as Saunders put in her third marker in the 50th minute. Saunders leads Big Blue with 13 goals on the season.
Holly Smith (Peabody, Mass.) recorded two saves to backstop the shutout for UNE, with the aid of a defensive save by Kersey Boulay (Liberty, Maine) down the stretch in the 2nd half.
Southern Maine returns to Little East Conference action on Saturday (2:00 p.m.) at Framingham State University. The University of New England travels to Endicott on Wednesday (7:00 p.m.) for a CCC contest.