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A-10 notebook: Saint Louis picks up first conference win

Bucknell snaps VCU’s five-game winning streak

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A-10 notebook: Saint Louis picks up first conference win

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

By Thomas Haines, Assistant Sports Editor

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Senior Carly Kissinger’s shootout goal gave the Saint Louis field hockey team a 3-2 win over La Salle on Friday for its first conference win of the season.

Saint Louis (3-7, 1-4 Atlantic 10) took the game to penalty strokes after both teams went scoreless in two overtime periods. The Billikens completely shut down La Salle (5-6, 0-3 A-10) in overtime, as the Explorers managed just one shot after the end of regulation.

La Salle struck first with Lauren Lechleitner’s goal in the 10th minute, her first goal of the season. After Saint Louis tied it up, the Explorers regained the lead in the 39th minute with a penalty corner goal by senior Megan Kida.

The Billikens responded quickly, generating a penalty corner two minutes later. After a green card was called on La Salle’s Amanda Chapin, Saint Louis took advantage and freshman midfielder Emily Wastell scored in the 45th minute to tie the game.

The Explorers created scoring opportunities but struggled to convert. Although La Salle outshot Saint Louis, recording 11 shots to the Billikens’ nine, only three of those shots were on goal. On eight penalty corners, the Explorers scored just once.

Saint Louis goalkeeper Sasha Sander made only one save and allowed two goals, but that was all that was needed. Sander, a freshman, has saved 40 goals in 10 games this year and earned her third win at Saint Louis.

For the Billikens, the victory came after three straight one-goal losses, all against A-10 opponents. With the win, Saint Louis moves to seventh in the conference.

La Salle has now lost four of its last six games, including its only three A-10 games, and has sunk to the bottom of the A-10. The Explorers play just one game this weekend, against Holy Cross in Philadelphia, before a critical homestand with games against Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth and Davidson.

VCU falls short against Bucknell

Sophomore Maite Sturm’s high shot in the 67th minute proved to be the last opportunity for the Virginia Commonwealth field hockey team, which fell 3-2 to Bucknell on Sunday.

VCU (6-4, 3-0 A-10) fizzled on offense in the second half. Trailing 3-1 to Bucknell (6-4) coming out of halftime, the Rams managed just four shots on goal in the second half, three of which were saved by Bucknell goalkeeper Olivia Harris.

Freshman defender Janne Wetzel closed the gap with a shot up in the net in the 50th minute, but the Rams were unable to mount any sustained offense from there.

Despite outshooting Bucknell in the first half, VCU entered halftime down 3-1. The goaltending made the difference in the first half, as Harris allowed just one goal and made seven saves while VCU goalie Sasha Elliott gave up three goals on four shots on goal.

Junior Brittany Willwerth’s penalty stroke goal in the 20th minute gave Bucknell its first lead, which it would not relinquish. With a man advantage in the 33rd minute, senior Nicole Rupnik tapped in a deflected shot to give the Bisons needed insurance.

VCU opened the scoring early, as senior Emily McNamara scored her 17th goal of the season in the seventh minute, but the Rams surrendered three straight goals from there.

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for VCU. The Rams have a quick turnaround, returning home to face Rider on Wednesday before a Sunday contest against Massachusetts.

Thomas Haines can be reached at [email protected]and followed on Twitter @thainessports.

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