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Ricker, Davis seal deal in America East opener

The best way to describe the University of Maine (7-3, 1-0 AE) field hockey match against the University of Massachusetts-Lowell (6-6, 1-1 AE) is a sort of Jekyll and Hyde kind of game. But in the end, the Black Bears came out on top, downing the Riverhawks 3-2 in overtime to open up America East play.

First-year back Hana Davis lifted the Black Bears to victory on her third goal of the season, stealing the ball from a UMass-Lowell defender and launching a breakaway shot to the far post to seal the deal.

UMass-Lowell came out on fire in the first half. Second-year forward Anouk Lalande redirected a corner pass from first-year back Clara Defourt past Maine redshirt fourth-year goalkeeper Emma Cochrane to give the Riverhawks a 1-0 lead at the 15:46 mark.

Lalande would strike again just 15 minutes later. During a 2-on-1 breakaway, fourth-year forward Christa Doiron found Lalande to the right side, and she sent a screaming one-timer past Cochrane to give the Riverhawks a 2-0 lead 31:00 into the game.

Lalande’s goals in the half were her ninth and 10th of the season.

The Black Bears would rise to the occasion in the second half, thanks in large part to second-year forward Brianna Ricker. At the 37:48 mark in the match, third-year back Samantha Wagg launched a shot that was deflected. Ricker was in the right place at the right time, tipping one at the corner past UMass-Lowell’s second-year goaltender Eva Berkhout to cut the deficit down to 2-1.

Ricker would strike again at the 56:40 mark, finding the back of the cage on a backhand sweep through a host of Riverhawk defenders to knot the score at 2-2. Ricker’s goals were her sixth and seventh on the season.

Maine outshot UMass-Lowell 14-10 on the afternoon, with a shots-on-goal-edge of 6-4. Berkhout finished with three saves on the afternoon to Cochrane’s two, but both finished with a save percentage of .500 on the day. UMass Lowell held the advantage in terms of corners, at 7-5, but could not capitalize on the two extra advantages.

This game showed excellent discipline through 81 minutes, as neither team went offside, nor were any fouls called. The Black Bears did receive one yellow card, but overall it was a very detail-oriented performance.

Maine will be back in action, trying to continue their winning ways, on Friday, Oct. 6 against the University of Albany. Faceoff is at 3 p.m. UMass-Lowell will look to get back on track on Friday as they take on the University of New Hampshire at Cushing Field in Lowell, Mass. Faceoff is at 7 p.m.

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