WORCESTER, Mass. - First-year Kerry Lefebvre (Freeport, ME.) produced four goals and dished out an assist to propel the Clark University field hockey team to a 5-2 victory against Wheaton College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) bout at Granger Field on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Cougars move to 2-0 in the early NEWMAC slate - the best start to conference play since 2009 for the team.
Score: Cougars 5, Lyons 2
Records: Clark University (7-3, 2-0 NEWMAC) | Wheaton College (2-7, 0-2 NEWMAC)
How it Happened:
The visiting Lyons jumped ahead first, needing just 4:06 on the clock to strike as Hannah LeClair notched the game's first goal on its first shot, coming away with the rock following a penalty corner to create the chance. The Cougars managed four shots before the end of the first quarter, but couldn't break through the solid defense in front of goalkeeper Morgan Karnes in the Wheaton cage. Clark University finally broke through during the second stanza, and it didn't take long as Lefebvre notched the fifth goal in her brief career in the 17th minute off a feed by classmate Abigail Cravinho (Bellow Falls, Vt.) to level the score at one apiece.
Wheaton made good use of the limited chances it was able to manufacture throughout the first-half. In the 23rd minute of play that showed itself again when Nathalie Paquette put the Lyons up 2-1 in unassisted fashion on just the fourth shot of the game to that point for the visiting squad.
With the 2-1 deficit in place, Clark University put its foot on the pedal and it was Lefebvre doing the driving as the newcomer was again responsible for leveling the score. With just 46 seconds remaining in the opening half, the Lefebvre-Cravinho connection came through once again for the Cougars with Lefebvre ripping home the feed by her teammate.
Early in the second half, the momentum continued as Lefebvre became the playmaker for the go-ahead marker, sliding a pass across the turf to Chase Collier (Lisbon, ME.) who finished off the chance to pick up her fifth goal of the season.
A little over a minute later, Lefebvre continued the hot-streak, registering her first career hat-trick to double up the Cougars lead, 4-2. But, Lefebvre wasn't done as the forward added an insurance marker for the Cougs at the 42-minute mark off the dish from Collier for the 5-2 final score. Clark University continued to fire toward the target as it maintained a 5-1 lead in shots for the remainder of the game, holding a lead in the category 15-8 throughout the contest.
Sophomore Grace Sawyer (Windham, ME.) improved her season-record to 6-3 for the Cougars as the goalkeeper turned away five shots on seven attempts on goal from the Lyons while Cravinho picked up her fifth multi-point game in ten starts to begin her collegiate career.
Clark University has itself a week-long hiatus before returning to action Saturday, October 5th at home against Wellesley College at 11:00 am. The game will also be the annual NEWMAC Play for a Cure event, an initiative across the conference to spread awareness for those who have been affected by cancer.