GORHAM, Maine – Senior midfielder Alyce Ferenc (Rumney, N.H./Plymouth Regional) redirected a pass from senior forward Jacki Benson (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) in the 52nd minute to deliver the game-winning goal as the Keene State College Owls defeated the University of Southern Maine Huskies 1-0 in a Little East Conference field hockey game Saturday afternoon at Hannaford Field in Gorham, Maine.
With the win, Keene State remains undefeated in the LEC at 3-0 and improves its overall record to 6-2. The Huskies, suffering their first conference setback, dip to 2-1 and 5-5 overall.
In a defensive-minded first half, neither team could find the back of the net and headed into the break with a 0-0 draw. Keene State pressured the Huskies in the first half, controlling play with an 8-1 advantage in shots in the opening stanza, but USM sophomore goalkeeper Kayla Kennedy (Windham, Maine) turned away all four of the Owls shots on goal.
The second half saw more even play between the two teams, but the Owls were able to get the upper hand when Benson sent a driven ball into the circle from the right side of the field and connected with Ferenc for her sixth goal of the season.
Southern Maine had several scoring opportunities late in the second half. Keene State freshman goalkeeper Caitlin Davino-Draper (Hanover, Mass.) recorded all five of her saves in the second half. Davino-Draper was able to preserve the shutout win for her team making a spectacular kick-save with 8:30 remaining in the regulation on a point blank shot from USM sophomore forward Ariel Kaplan (South Berwick, Maine/Marshwood). Kennedy, who took the loss, played well in goal making seven saves.
Southern Maine hosts Salem State on Wednesday (4:00 p.m.) in a Little East Conference game. Keene State hosts rival Plymouth State on Wednesday (6:00 p.m.) in an LEC match-up.