Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Blazers captured a 3-2 victory over host Bay Path University during their New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) opener at Leary Field Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Blazers improve to 2-5 overall and 1-0 in the NECC, while Bay Path slides to 0-1 in conference and 0-7 on the season.
The Blazers potted the first of three first-half goals in the 12th minute as sophomore Madison Gabel (Agawam, Mass.) knocked in an unassisted tally to stake the Blazers to a 1-0 lead. Less than three minutes later, the Wildcats pulled even when sophomore Josephine Orrick (Belden, Miss.) converted off a feed from senior Angela Younger (Charlemont, Mass.) and senior Casey LaMotte (Enfield, Conn.) at the 14:27 mark.
In the 16th minute of play, the Blazers regained control as junior Madison Messier (Warren, Mass.) delivered an unassisted strike to hand Elms the 2-1 advantage. Just prior to halftime, junior Hayley Omahen (San Diego, Calif.) gathered a loose ball and found Messier on the way to the net, who dished the ball to Gabel for the finish, pushing Elms ahead 3-1 at the half.
The Wildcats netted the lone goal of the second half as Younger closed the gap to 3-2 after scoring off a corner feed from LaMotte at the 60:22 mark.
The Blazers dominated the Wildcats in the shot column, firing a season-high 36 shots to four for Bay Path. Elms junior keeper Jillian Lapponese (Enfield, Conn.) didn't face a shot in the win, while Wildcats senior keeper Bethany Rogers (Plymouth, Mass.) made a match-high 25 saves.
The Blazers will look to remain in the win column when they travel to Clark University for a non-conference match Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. Bay Path hosts Cedar Crest in non-conference play Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
ELMS FIELD HOCKEY