WORCESTER, Mass. (October 4, 2019) – Senior back Jessica Strassburg (Longmeadow, Mass.) piled up three defensive saves on Friday afternoon for the Franklin Pierce University field hockey team, moving her into a tie atop the program's list of all-time leaders, with 14 for her career. Unfortunately for the Ravens, Strassburg's defensive exploits were the highlight of the day, as Franklin Pierce suffered a 4-0 defeat on the road, at the hands of No. 8 nationally ranked Assumption in Northeast-10 Conference play.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 4-6 (3-3 NE10), while Assumption improves to 9-1 (6-1 NE10).
Assumption wasted no time getting out front on Friday, as the Greyhounds struck for the only goal they would need in just the sixth minute, as the game's first penalty corner led to a massive scramble in front of the Franklin Pierce net. Junior goalkeeper Olivia Barnes (Greenwich, N.Y.) made a save in the sequence, and then Strassburg notched the first of her three defensive saves on the afternoon. The third time would be the charm for Assumption though, as sophomore forward Summer Walsh finally finished things off at the left post for her sixth goal of the season.
Strassburg's second defensive save of the day came early in the second quarter, as she turned aside a shot from senior forward Courtney Sickel off of a penalty corner.
Shortly thereafter, the Greyhounds would double the lead to 2-0, in the 19th minute. With play moving towards the Franklin Pierce goal on the left side of the circle, the ball popped out in front of the left post for junior forward Deirdre Burchill. Burchill was challenged by Barnes, but managed to knock the ball off to the right and towards the mouth of the goal. Junior forward Jennifer Beardsley corralled the ball and quickly shuttled it into the back of the net for her fifth goal of the campaign.
The record-tying defensive save for Strassburg came just before the third Assumption goal, in the 53rd minute, as another corner attempt led to another scramble in front of the Franklin Pierce cage. Strassburg sent back a shot from Burchill, but Sickel was on the scene and cleaned up the rebound to tally her fifth of the year and make it 3-0.
The defensive save was the seventh of the season for Strassburg, which ran her career total to 14. She tied Kim Jaksina '12 -- who will be inducted into the Franklin Pierce Athletics Hall of Fame next month -- for the program's all-time record. Strassburg is just the third player in school history to reach double digits in defensive saves in her career.
Assumption capped the scoring at the 55-minute mark, as junior forward Shannon Quinlan put away her first goal of the season on a breakaway chance to create the 4-0 final.
Franklin Pierce held its own in the first quarter -- when Assumption held a 6-4 edge in shots -- but ultimately, the Greyhounds controlled the run of play for much of the afternoon. Assumption finished the day with advantages of 31-5 in shot attempts, 24-4 in shots on goal, and 17-3 in penalty corners.
Barnes (4-6) piled up a career-best 17 saves against 21 shots on goal, but suffered the loss anyway in the Franklin Pierce net. Sophomore goalkeeper Kylie Gargiulo (6-1) stopped all four shots she faced to pick up the win for Assumption, along with her fourth shutout of the season.
The Ravens return to the field on Wednesday, Oct. 9, when they travel to Adelphi for an NE10 contest. Game time is set for 6 p.m. at Motamed Field in Garden City, N.Y.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (https://www.fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce field hockey apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' brand new online store (https://www.shopfpuravens.com).