KEENE, N.H. -- Nina Bruno scored a school record-tying five goals to lead the Keene State College field hockey team to a 7-3 Little East Conference (LEC) win over visiting Bridgewater State University on Tuesday night at the Owl Athletic Complex.
The host Owls improve to 11-3 on the season and 7-1 in the Little East, while the Bears fall to 6-6 overall and 4-5 in conference play.
In addition to Bruno's scoring outburst, Kayla Klein added a pair of goals as KSC scored six of the final seven markers in the contest to erase an early deficit.
Julia Babbitt set up Bruno for her first of the contest about five minutes in as the Owls led 1-0. Bridgewater had a quick response, though, as they scored twice in just over five minutes to take what proved to be their only lead of the game. Emma Daly had the equalizer at the 7:30 mark before BSU went up 2-1 in the 13th minute when Samantha Hayes found the back of the cage. Alexandra Zoebisch assisted on Daly's scoring strike.
KSC was not behind for long, as Klein scored from Courtney Jessup to tie the game less than five minutes later, and the Owls were ahead to stay when Bruno's second of the game made it 3-2 at 20:47. Hailey Beaupre preserved the lead with a defensive save on Olivia Ahlman in the 25th minute, and the Owls added to the advantage less than three minutes before the break. After BSU goalkeeper Allison Chappell made a trio of saves, Klein converted on a penalty stroke at the 32:08 mark, giving KSC a 4-2 advantage.
Chappell made two more saves in the final two minutes to keep it the same score at halftime. Keene State held a 17-5 shot advantage in the opening stanza.
Keene State continued pulling away after the break, as Bruno completed the hat trick in the 41st minute off a feed from Ally McCall. Now trailing 5-2, the Bears closed the gap on Hayes' second goal of the contest, team-leading 16th of the season and 40th of her career at 53:19.
Bruno tied the Owls' single-game goals record with two markers in quick succession late in the contest. She first scored unassisted in the 66th minute, and then cashed in off a feed from McKenna Blean just 2:34 later as KSC capped off the scoring.
Rachel Loseby (11-3) earned the win in the KSC cage, making a pair of saves. Chappell (5-6) was peppered with 22 shots and stopped 15 for Bridgewater. Chappell's 15 saves equaled her season-high.
Keene State held a wide 30-8 advantage in shots and had 18 of the 21 penalty corner attempts.
The game featured the conference's top three scorers: Bruno (21 goals) and Klein (18) for Keene State, and Hayes (16) for the Bears.
KSC is now 26-4 all-time versus Bridgewater State.
Hayes moved into sole possession of fourth place on the Bears' all-time goal scoring list. She is also fourth all-time in program history with 96 career points.
Keene State will head to New Hampton, New Hampshire to play in-state rival Plymouth State University on Saturday, October 13 at 11:00 am. Bridgewater State returns home and will host a non-conference contest against Springfield College on Thursday, October 11 at 7:00 pm.