DANBURY, Conn. -- Junior forward Samantha Hayes (Norwood, Mass.) netted her first career hat trick to lead the visiting Bridgewater State University field hockey team to a 5-2 victory over Little East Conference (LEC) foe Western Connecticut State University on Saturday afternoon at The Westside Athletic Complex.
The Bears improve to 5-8 on the season and 4-6 in the Little East, while the Colonials fall to 5-10 overall and 4-6 in league play.
The Bears clawed their way to an early 3-0 lead as Hayes tallied the first three goals of the contest for the natural hat trick. Hayes drew first blood when she smacked home a rebound before slicing into the heart of the Colonials' defense to rip a right-handed rocket into the twine. Hayes completed the hat trick midway through the opening half with her team-leading 13th goal of the season and 23rd of her career.
WestConn retaliated when Kimberly Brower (Mahopac, N.Y.) took a feed down low from sophomore forward Morgan Matthews (Bethel, Conn.) and buried her fifth goal of the season in the 21st minute, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
The Bears answered less than two minutes later when senior defender Katherine McKenna (Wilmington, Mass.) tallied her first collegiate goal.
WCSU freshman forward Amanda Spano (Mahopac, N.Y.) capped off the first half scoring just 88 seconds later to make it a two-goal game at the break.
Freshman forward Emma Daly (Foxborough, Mass.) would score off a rebound in the second half, extending the Bridgewater lead to 5-2. That would be the only goal of the final stanza.
Colonial rookie goalkeeper Neve Manion (Newington, Conn.) combined with sophomore Elizabeth Fagan (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) to record 10 saves.
The Colonials return to action against visiting non-conference rival Lasell College on Tuesday night at seven. The Bears entertain non-league foe Johnson & Wales University on Tuesday afternoon at 3:30.