SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Freshman forward Marina Montes-Nino recorded her first-career hat trick and added an assist as the Converse (2-10) field hockey team won its second-consecutive game, taking down Newberry (5-8) on Thursday evening at Spartan High. Cassandra Bravo connected on the game winner in the 67th minute for her first goal of the season.
Converse wasted no time getting on the board as Montes-Nino took a magnificent pass in the box from Flore Samsi and smoked it past the Wolves keeper for the early 1-0 lead. Newberry came back with a goal of its own in the 15th minute of action when Brady Keeler collected the ball off a scrum and put it into the back of the box.
From that point the two offenses were stagnant up until the 31-minute mark when Montes-Nino collected her second goal of the contest after receiving a beautiful pass from Sarah Healy off a Daija Krygier penalty corner, giving the Vals a 2-1 lead. That lead would be held onto heading into the break.
The Wolves tied the game at 2-2 in the 43rd minute of the second half as Keeler posted her second score of the contest, taking a penalty corner and ripping it past the goalie from about six yards out. Newberry took its first lead of the game just over four minutes later when Chantel Gauthier collected a rebound off a missed shot and snuck it into the back of the box.
That lead did not last long as the Krygier-Healy-Montes-Nino hookup struck again, this time in the 55th minute of action. After earning another penalty corner, Krygier found Healy, who in turn found Montes-Nino for her third goal and first career hat trick, knotting the game at 3-all with less than 15 to play in regulation.
Just when the game looked poised for overtime Bravo took a pass from Montes-Nino and batted it past the Wolves' keeper for the eventual game-winning goal. The Valkyries defense had to defend two-consecutive penalty corners with no time on the clock to seal the win, sending the home sideline into utter excitement.
Newberry held a slim margin in shots (10-8) and penalty corners (12-5). Converse committed 22 fouls to Newberry's 15. Ciriaca Petitto earned her second victory of the season after playing all 70 minutes in goal, allowing three scores while collecting three saves. Allison Davis took the loss for the Wolves as she allowed four goals and collected one save.
Converse will be back in action on Saturday, October 21 as it travels to the Queen City of Charlotte, N.C. to take on Queens University. That contest is scheduled to begin at noon.