NEW LONDON, Conn. – Senior Meghan Lembo (Southington, Conn.) scored her second goal of the season and the back line combined to register four defensive saves in leading the Connecticut College field hockey team to a 1-0 victory over nationally-ranked Hamilton on Saturday afternoon at Silfen Field.
Connecticut College (3-4, NESCAC 1-3) scored the game's lone goal in the opening minute and held off a relentless Continental attack the rest of the way. Lembo found the back of the cage just 47 seconds into the contest when she took a pass from junior Jamie Navoni (Natick, Mass.) and fired the ball past goalkeeper Julia Booth.
Hamilton, which is ranked eighth in the country by the NFHCA, dominated for the remainder of the contest and outshot the Camels by a 17-1 margin after the goal was scored. The hosts, however, held their ground and first got a key defensive save from junior Gabby Peterson (Worcester, Mass.) in the ninth minute to keep her team ahead by a goal heading into the break.
The Continentals, who also had a commanding 13-1 advantage in penalty corners, continued to send a barrage of shots at freshman netminder Andi McGraw (Sheffield, Mass.) throughout the second half. After fighting off playing down due to a green card, McGraw first saved an attempt from top scoring threat Michaela Giuttari and then got some help from her back line when Berklee Vaillancourt (Manchester, N.H.) recorded a defensive save in the 50th minute on a shot that came off the stick of Margaret Revera. Senior Jacqueline Murphy (Danvers, Mass.) then provided heroics by making two defensive stops just 3:35 apart to keep the Camels ahead.
With under five minutes left, Hamilton made a rare move by pulling its goalkeeper out of the game to add an extra attacker. Connecticut College's defense, however, remained impenetrable. The Continentals also had one last chance by earning a penalty corner in the waning seconds, but a shot attempt by Aly Skelly after time had expired was blocked and then cleared away to end the game.
McGraw picked up the victory between the pipes by turning away eight shots for Connecticut College, which was facing a nationally-ranked opponent for the fourth time this season. Three different players – Murphy, Peterson and Vaillancourt – also combined to make four defensive saves. Booth suffered the loss after failing to stop a shot attempted by the Camels.
Connecticut College (3-4, NESCAC 1-3) will look to win its third straight game when it hosts Trinity on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 6:00 p.m.