NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth field hockey team cruised to a 5-0 win over Fitchburg State on Tuesday evening at Cressy Field.
UMass Dartmouth moved to 11-5 on the year and 8-1 in the Little East Conference. The Corsairs remain in a three-way tie for second place with Bridgewater State and Plymouth State. With the loss, Fitchburg State drops to 5-9 overall and a 1-8 conference record.
Sophomore Alison Ladue (Bridgewater, Mass.) and senior Victoria Dolce (Jamestown, R.I.) led the dominating offensive attack for UMass Dartmouth. Ladue recorded her fifth and sixth goals on the season, while Dolce notched her seventh goal of the year and assisted on another.
In the 11th minute, Ladue cradled the ball after a shot attempt by teammate Mary Groves (Sutton, Mass.) was kicked away by Falcon's goalkeeper Judith Valentin (Brockton, Mass.). Upon retrieving the ball, the Bridgewater, Mass. native blasted her first goal of the game into the upper-right corner of the net. Ladue put home her second score of the game when she received a beautifully delivered ball from teammate Emily Anderson (Medway, Mass.), turned to her left and whipped the ball past a diving Fitchburg State keeper.
With the 1-0 advantage, the Corsairs continued to press offensively. Off a penalty corner, sophomore Anderson passed to teammate Dolce who found the stick of Jill Levrault (Somerset, Mass.) for her fourth mark on the year.
In the 58th minute, Dolce was on the scoring end of a play. The senior received a penalty corner pass from Anderson, had the ball stolen by Flacon defender, regained possession and slapped a goal past the keeper.
In such a high-scoring game it seemed odd for UMass Dartmouth's top goal scorer to be without a mark of her own. Eleanor Taylor (Fairhaven, Mass.) logged her 14th goal of the year when a Corsair pass got deflected off a Fitchburg defender's stick and landed perfectly for Taylor to put home a goal in the 65th minute.
The Corsair gave their senior goalkeeper a bit of a break as Lauren O'Brien (Rochester, Mass.) competed in the first 53:23 of the game and sophomore Liz Delaney (Foxboro, Mass.) played in the remaining time 16:37. O'Brien improved her individual record to 11-5 and blocked two shots. Delaney stopped three shots in her minutes.
The Falcons also split time with their goalkeepers as Valentine stopped 16 shots in 59:28, while junior Lucy Holewa (Londonderry, N.H.) made two saves during her action.