UNION, N.J. (10/11/16) – The No. 17 Kean University field hockey team scored three times in the final 23 minutes to erase a 3-1 deficit and top SUNY New Paltz 4-3 at home on Tuesday night. Krista LaMaina netted a hat trick – including the game-winner – to help the Cougars move to 13-0 on the year; the most consecutive wins in program history.
Kean struck first just 2:11 into the game. The Cougars had pressure deep in the New Paltz zone. Jordan Colna fired a shot into traffic that was blocked down in front. LaMaina was able to sniff out the rebound and send the ball home for the early 1-0 lead.
But before the Cougars were even done celebrating, Erin Landry and Justine O'Reilly of the Hawks hooked up for a goal less than 30 seconds later to knot the game at one.
Most of the rest of the first half passed uneventfully- the teams had just six shots apiece in the opening period. But three minutes before halftime, O'Reilly set up substitute Serena Capsello during a big pileup in front to give the Hawks the halftime lead.
In the second half the Cougars were constantly on the attack. They outshot New Paltz 18-4 in the period and forced Hawk goaltender Megan Gangewere to make some incredible saves. All the same, it was the Hawks who first found paydirt on a counterattack at 42:14. O'Reilly scored an unassisted goal to increase the Hawk lead to 3-1.
Four minutes later, Raykena Brown set up LaMaina with a great run down the right side to cut the New Paltz lead in half.
With time running short, Colna (pictured left) and LaMaina hooked up again on nearly the same scenario as the first goal; but this time LaMaina's shot was blocked and whipped in by Colna to tie the game, touch off a huge celebration and swinging all the momentum back to the Cougar side.
Less than three minutes later, Kean earned a penalty corner. Shauna LaMaina ripped a hard shot from the top of the circle and twin sister Krista tipped it past the goalie for the 4-3 lead. The Cougars did not allow a single shot on goal in the second period and held on to win by the same score.
Freshman Bailee Mullen earned the win in goal for the Cougars.
Kean will wrap up its three-game homestand on Saturday against NJAC rival Stockton University at 5 p.m.