KEENE, N.H. -- Freshman forward Nina Bruno (Agawam, Mass.) netted her third hat-trick of the season to lead the second-seeded Keene State College field hockey team to a 6-2 win over No. 7 seed Bridgewater State University in a Little East Conference Tournament opening round matchup at Owl Athletic Complex.
With the win, the Owls (12-8) advance to the tournament semifinals and will host No. 3 seed Plymouth State University on Wednesday, November 1st at 6:30 PM. The visiting Bears end the season with an overall record of 7-10.
Junior forward Julia Babbit (Haddam, Conn.) opened the scoring just 2:34 into the game as she poked in a loose ball past Bridgewater State junior netminder Allison Chappell (Raynham, Mass.). A little less than 10 minutes later, the Bears tied the contest when freshman forward Emma Daly (Foxborough, Mass.) beat Owls' freshman goalie Rachel Loseby (Hartford, Vt.) at the 11:01 mark. The goals marked Daly's eighth of the season.
Bruno put the Owls back in front for good, controlling the ball, coming to the top of the crease, and shooting past a sprawling Chappell for her 16th goal of the season in the 16th minute. The rookie added another in the 22nd minute to send the Owls into the break up 3-1.
Sophomore forward Jensyn Dandeneau (Berlin, N.H.) made it 4-1 with her 15th of the year in the 43rd minute, and Bruno completed the hat-trick off a pass from senior defender Kendal Brown (Belmont, Mass.) following a penalty corner. Senior forward Brittany Johnson (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) picked up her first marker of the season with six minutes left to cap off the Owls' string of five consecutive goals and extend the lead to 6-1.
BSU junior midfielder Julianne Kilduff (Bellingham, Mass.) completed the scoring with five minutes to go as she potted her sixth goal of the season.
Loseby made six saves to earn the win for the Owls, while Chappell made 11 stops for the Bears. The Owls outshot the Bears by a margin of 24-12 and held a 9-2 advantage in penalty corners.