Late comeback falls short as Western falls at Manhattanville, 7-5

From the desk of Sean Engel - Manhattanville College SID

BOX SCORE

PURCHASE, NY (Oct. 10) — Junior Amanda DeChent (Putnam Valley, N.Y./Putnam Valley) set a third Manhattanville record in as many games as she broke the career goals mark with her 36th and 37th of her career in a 7-5 win over the Western Connecticut State Colonials on Wednesday evening. In addition to DeChent's pair, the Valiants got two goals each from both seniors Melissa Goncalves (Holtsville, N.Y./Sachem East) and Lindsey Stebenne (Barrington, R.I./Barrington).

Western Connecticut jumped on the board first with a goal less than five minutes into the game as Victoria Vitale notched her fifth goal of the season on the short side of the goal, sneaking it by Manhattanville starting goalkeeper Amy Hilton (Pittsburgh, Pa./Kent Hills (Maine)) to put the Colonials up 1-0.

From that point onward the Valiants took control of the first half as they scored six unanswered goals. The first came off of a corner as DeChent sent the ball in to Goncalves who left it for junior Julia Esposito (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) who launched the ball home to even up the game at one a piece.

About 12 minutes later the Valiants took their first lead of the game as DeChent took a shot that was stopped in front by a defensive player, with the rebound falling right to the stick of Stebenne who sent the ball to the back of the cage at 20:28 of the period.

DeChent earned her record-breaking goal on a stellar individual effort and shot as she sent a lifted shot backwards over the goalkeeper at the 26:42 mark of the ball game to put the Valiants up by a pair. For DeChent it was her 23rd goal of the season and 36th of her career to break the all-time goals record at Manhattanville set by Alissa Tyghter '07, who finished her career with 35.

Goncalves was next to score for Manhattanville as she picked up a pair of goals. On her second goal, she picked up a pass from sophomore Drew Moore (Nantucket, Mass./Nantucket), who earned her first career point on the helper. The final goal of the half came from DeChent who drove down the middle of the lane in the final minute of play to give Manhattanville a commanding 6-1 lead.

After the halftime break Stebenne scored her second of the game on a scramble in front of the net after picking up a pass from across the goal mouth from senior Rebecca McClintock (Accord, N.Y./Rondout Valley) to give Manhattanville their seventh goal of the game. After yielding their seventh goal the tide began to turn in favor of the Colonials, who stormed down the field four minutes later and trimmed the lead back down to five on a goal by Deanne Mastrocola.

Vitale scored her second of the game on a tip in front of the net after Mastrocola shot the ball from a fair distance. The Valiants held off a few more chances from the Colonials as freshman Courtney Ponte (Johnstown, N.Y./Johnstown) made a few saves in the process after taking over in goal at the halftime break.

At the 62:37 point of the game the Colonials were awarded a penalty stroke and took advantage as they picked the right side of the net to trim the lead back down to 7-4. With just over a minute remaining in regulation Kim Gigante took a shot that was stopped by Ponte and wedged between her leg pads and the ground, Gigante dug the ball back out and put in into the vacant net to pull Western Connecticut back within two.

Unfortunately for the Colonials time was working against them, as the clock expired with Manhattanville holding off the Western Connecticut surge to earn the 7-5 victory.

In total shots were in favor of Western Connecticut at 21-12, however the Valiants were more accurate in terms of percentage as Manhattanville had 10 shots on goal to the Colonials' 14 shots on goal. Penalty corners were also in favor of Western Connecticut at 9-5.

In goal, Hilton earned the win to improve to 8-4 on the year after making three saves and allowing the opening goal of the contest. Ponte came on to finish off the second half as she yielded four goals while registering six saves. On the other end of the field Courtney Hearn took the loss to fall to 5-5 on the season, after making two saves and allowing the first six goals during the first half. Kaeley DeNegre came on in the second half and allowed one goal without making a save.

Manhattanville (10-4, 2-1 Freedom) returns to conference play this Saturday, when they travel to DeSales to take on the Bulldogs at 2:30 p.m. Western Connecticut (4-8, 2-5 Little East) will also be back in action on Saturday when they take on Fitchburg State at home at 5:00 p.m.