September 2, 2010

Five-goal half propels Wheaton past Salve, Strock records first hat trick

MIDDLETOWN, R.I.- Wheaton College field hockey senior Jessica Strock (Centerville, Mass./Barnstable) recorded her first career hat trick on Thursday, and the Lyons erupted for five second-half goals over 11:18 during their 6-1 triumph over host Salve Regina University at Gaudet Field.

Today's game was the opener for both teams.  It also marked the first time in the last seven meetings between the squads that the result wasn't decided by one goal.

Strock posted the game's initial tally and her team's fifth and sixth goals, junior Bonnie Davies (Roxbury, Conn./Shepaug Valley) scored once and assisted another, while senior Margaux Bolte (Belmont, Mass./Belmont) added a pair of helpers.

Sophomore Alex Smith (Suffield, Conn./Suffield) went nearly untested in her collegiate debut between the pipes, as the Seahawks were credited with just three shots.  Wheaton dominated play throughout, holding advantages of 40-3 in shots and 7-2 on penalty corners.

Salve senior Lindsey Burt (Hopedale, Mass./Hopedale) scored in the 32nd minute, while junior goalie Natalie Balletta (Leominster, Mass./Leominster) turned aside 19 shots.

Wheaton wasted little time breaking into the scoring column, as Strock found the back of the cage just 3:54 into play.  The Lyons put the offensive pressure on early, taking the game's first 14 shots.  The hosts evened the contest on their only shot of the half with 3:20 to play before the intermission.

Freshman Jenna Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth Regional) provided the Blue and White with the game-winning goal in the 52nd minute, which was followed by a tally off the stick of Aliza Underhill (Corinth, Maine/Central) at 55:44, marking her first career goal.

Davies converted a penalty stroke at 58:03 before setting up Strock on a corner at 60:06.  Not even three minutes later Strock struck again, this time taking a feed from Bolte.

Wheaton continues its six-game, season-opening road swing in New Jersey this weekend, as the Lyons head to Montclair State University on Saturday before traveling to William Paterson University on Sunday.  Both start times are 1:00 p.m.

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