KEENE, N.H.--Julia Babbitt scored twice and Sami Smith had two assists as the top seeded Keene State College field hockey team defeated No. 8 seed Eastern Connecticut State University 4-1 in the quarterfinal round of the 2016 Little East Conference championship on Saturday at Owl Athletic Complex.
- Keene State: 18-3
- Eastern Connecticut State: 7-10
- The Owls remain at home for the semifinals, hosting the winner of No. 4 seed Fitchburg State and No. 5 seed Plymouth State. The other semifinal pits No. 6 seed Southern Maine against No. 7 seed Bridgewater State; the two were upset winners over No. 3 seed Westfield State and No. 2 seed Worcester State, respectively.
- The Warriors see their season come to a close.
Tale of the Tape
- Keene State outshot the Warriors 25-8, including 13-1 in the first half, and had a 6-3 edge in penalty corners.
- Gwendolyn Thayer recorded four saves for the Owls, and counterpart Samantha Scavo had eight stops for the Warriors.
- Babbitt's pair of goals now give her 12 for the season, tied for third on the team with Jensyn Dandeneau, who also scored her 12th of the year. Keene State now has four of the top 10 goal scorers in the LEC, with Sami Smith (32), Erica Stauffer (16), Babbitt (12) and Dandeneau (12) all among them.
First Half Highlights
- The usual quick fire KSC offense took a while to get going, as Sami Smith and Hannah Cook fired shots wide in the early minutes.
- Keene State was denied goals twice by the ECSU defense, when Alexanda Steward and Katy Jankura made defensive saves minutes apart on Erica Stauffer and Casi Smith to keep the game scoreless.
- KSC finally made the breakthrough in the 27th minute, when Smith set up Jensyn Dandeneu for her 12th goal of the season.
- Cook could have made it 2-0 less than a minute later, but Samantha Scavo made the save for the Warriors.
Second Half Highlights
- If the first half saw the KSC offense fire up slowly, the second half was a gas burner, as Babbitt scored 86 seconds after the restart with an assist from Mia Brickley for a 2-0 lead.
- Kayla Renaud made it 3-0 with her sixth of the season a minute later, and the Owls could have had a fourth when the Warriors were whistled for a penalty stroke.
- Casi Smith, attempting the first stroke for KSC this season, was denied by Scavo in the 45th minute.
- The Warriors broke up the shutout at the 49:39 mark with Paige Schneider's goal, but KSC did get their fourth, as Babbitt turned home a Sami Smith pass with exactly 58 minutes played.