Story Courtesy of Central Michigan Media Relations
KENT, Ohio ? Senior Samantha Sandham registered her second career hat trick, helping the Central Michigan field hockey team (8-11, 6-4 Mid-American) advance to the MAC Tournament semifinals with a 5-0 in over Ball State at Murphy-Mellis Field on Thursday.
Sandham put Central on the board in the 16th minute when she converted off a penalty corner set up by Kim Erasmus. She found the back of the net again in the 23rd minute to put CMU ahead, 2-0.
Erasmus extended the lead to three when she scored her third goal the past three matches off a rebound.
Sandham’s third goal chased Ball State goalkeeper Tiffany Shifflett with 8:09 remaining in the first half to give the Chippewas a 4-0 lead at halftime.
This is Sandham’s second hat trick this season, the first was against Colgate on Sept. 14. The six-point outburst gives her 108 career points, passing Cheryl Eglin (103) for second all-time at CMU. She now has 14 goals and nine assists for a career-high 37 points this season.
“Sam was outstanding today,” head coach Cristy Freese said. “We executed well on our penalty corners, but she was also effective throughout the match in the offensive circle.”
The Chippewas dominated the Cardinals in all facets of the match, holding a 25-5 edge in shots and a 12-4 advantage in penalty corners.
“We talked about putting together a total team effort defensively after last weekend,” Freese said. “We felt that we had the ability to shut out Ball State and that was our goal today.”
Freshman Danika Stone scored her first collegiate goal with 4:48 remaining in the match to cap the scoring. Another freshman, Lauren Leed, added her first two collegiate points with a pair of assists.
“It was good to see Lauren and Danika take advantage of their playing time,” Freese said. “It helps us out to play more people off our bench in a game like this, especially since we face a fresh Kent State team coming off a bye in the next round.”
The win is Central’s seventh in its last eight contests against MAC opponents. This is the second year in a row that the Chippewas have eliminated the Cardinals in the MAC Tournament quarterfinals.
Melinda Curran picked up her first career MAC Tournament victory by stopping both shots Ball State sent her way to record her third shutout of the season. This is the ninth time in her last 11 starts that she has allowed two goals or less.
Central will take on the top seeded tournament host Kent State Golden Flashes in semifinal play at noon on Friday.