NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Goals from freshman Becca Moore (Belmont, Mass./Belmont HS), the first of her career, and sophomore Gina Lirange (Auburn, Mass./Auburn HS) accounted for the offense as the Bentley University field hockey team completed the regular season schedule and clinched the number two seed in next week's Northeast-10 Conference playoffs with a 2-1 win over Southern Connecticut State University at Jess Dow Field Saturday afternoon.
The win was the seventh straight for the Falcons, an achievement Bentley last accomplished in 2009, and lifted coach Jessica Spencer's team to 11-6 overall and 8-2 in the conference. Southern dipped to 5-5 NE-10 and 8-9 overall.
Freshmen had been productive in Bentley's previous two games this week, scoring five of the Falcons' seven goals, and this time, Moore got into the act. She redirected a pass from Lirange into the cage for a 1-0 lead about ten minutes into the game.
It remained that way until the early minutes of the second half when Lirange delivered her eighth goal of 2012, with senior Beth Maguire (Medfield, Mass./Medfield HS) providing the assist.
Southern put pressure on the Falcons when it cut the lead in half with 5:43 remaining, senior Randi Schock (Stamford, Conn.) recording the goal for the Owls. They continued to attack the rest of the way, with four shots and four penalty corners in an attempt to tie, but the Bentley defense was up to the challenge.
Senior Julia Powell (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug HS), in her final visit to her home state as a collegiate player, made eight saves for Bentley, and freshman Audrey Dulloff (Raynham, Mass.) recorded 12 for the home team.
Bentley finished with a slight edge in shots, 22-20, despite the Owls having more than twice as many penalty corners (20-9).
The conference playoffs start on Wednesday and Bentley will face the winner of the 3-6 game Saturday at Merrimack College in a semifinal contest.