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Falcons Upend Pilgrims, 5-1 In Season Opener

Falcons Upend Pilgrims, 5-1 In Season Opener

Craig and Tocco collect two goals each in Falcons non-conference victory 

Henniker, N.H. – The Fitchburg State University field hockey team defeated the Pilgrims of New England College, 5-1 in non-conference action this evening at the Don Melander Field to open its 2018 season.

The Basics

Score: Fitchburg State 5, New England College 1

Records: Fitchburg State (1-0) | New England College (0-1)

How It Happened

Fitchburg State took a 1-0 lead in the at the 9:32 mark as sophomore forward Nicole Tocco (Gloucester, Mass.) found the back of the net off a pass from senior Maggie Gallagher (North Attleboro, Mass.) before the Falcons doubled their margin (2-0) roughly two minutes later on a tally from junior Aislynn DeHorsey (Leominster, Mass.)

New England College responded in the 26th minute of play when senior Brittany Tierney (Ottawa, Ontario) deposited a ball into the cage off a rebound to make the score 2-1. Fitchburg State answered back though with Tocco connecting on her second goal of the contest just before halftime to give the visitors a 3-1 advantage going into the break.

In the second half, The Green and Gold secured the victory at the 44:44 mark with freshman Sarah Craig (Ashburnham. Mass.) netted her first collegiate marker for the 4-1 lead, before Craig struck for her second tally on the night on an assist from freshman Jordan Bartell (Fitchburg, Mass.), resulting in the 5-1 final.

Inside the Numbers

This afternoon's contest marks the 17th matchup between the two schools in field hockey with the Falcons 10-5-2 all-time when taking on the Pilgrims.

The two teams had split the last three contests (1-1-1), with Fitchburg State collecting a 3-0 victory in the last meeting on Oct. 6, 1998 at the Don Melander Field.

Tocco and Craig led all scorers with four points on two goals each.

Fitchburg finished with a 28-9 advantage in shots, while also holding a 16-2 margin in penalty corners.

In net, freshman Abby Bryant (Ware, Mass.) made five saves for the Falcons to earn her first collegiate win, while newcomer Gabryelle Hart (Gardner, Mass.) stopped ten shots for the Pilgrims in the setback.

Fitchburg State head coach Kim Cosenza earned her first win at the helm for the Falcons.

Up Next

Falcons will hosts the Chargers of Colby-Sawyer College for their 2018 home opener on Wednesday, starting at 4:00 PM. Pilgrims will travel to Anna Maria College on Tuesday to take on the Amcats for a 7:00 pm start.