BRIDGEWATER, Mass. The Bridgewater State University field hockey team rallied for three second half goals as the Bears downed visiting Fitchburg State University, 3-1, in a Little East Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon at Swenson Field.
With the win, the Bears improve to 5-2 on the season and 3-2 in the Little East standings. The Falcons slip to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
The Falcons took the early 1-0 lead on a goal by senior midfielder Madeline Hoffman (Mansfield, Mass.) in the 14th minute. Junior forward Casey Noonan (Feeding Hills, Mass.) set up the scoring opportunity with a cross from the left side. Hoffman redirected the pass inside the right post.
That would be all the scoring in the opening stanza. Shots were even at six apiece over the first 35 minutes while each team attempted three penalty corners.
The second half belonged to the Bears. Sophomore midfielder Samantha Hayes (Norwood, Mass.) scored off the rebound of a Brittany Cullinane (Lunenburg, Mass.) shot in the 42nd minute to knot the game at 1-1. For Hayes, the goal marked her sixth of the season.
Less than seven minutes later, Cullinane potted her team-leading ninth goal of the year. The senior forward knocked home the rebound of a Hayley Grimes (East Longmeadow, Mass.) shot to put the Bears on top, 2-1.
Senior forward Hannah Ciavarra (Holliston, Mass.) added an insurance marker in the 59th minute as her shot from the right side deflected past the Fitchburg netminder.
Shots were even for the game at 19 apiece, while the Bears finished with a 9-5 edge in penalty corners.
BSU sophomore goaltender Allison Chappell (Raynham, Mass.) made eight saves to record her fifth win of the season. Chappell made back-to-back stops on a breakaway opportunity with 6 1/2 minutes left to play to keep it a two-goal cushion.
Sophomore Brittany Linane (Portsmouth, N.H.) turned aside nine shots between the pipes for the Falcons.
The Little East Conference schedule continues for both teams next Wednesday. In upcoming action, the Bears host the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth next Thursday night at seven, while the Buccaneers travel to Fisher College on Tuesday night for a seven o'clock match with the Falcons.