Franklin Pierce recap: Women’s hockey team headed to final

The Franklin Pierce women’s basketball team is headed to the NE10 semifinals after beating Southern New Hampshire University.

The Franklin Pierce women’s basketball team is headed to the NE10 semifinals after beating Southern New Hampshire University. PHOTO BY SHANNEN HARDY/FPU

Claire Casey’s overtime goal gave Franklin Pierce a 4-3 victory over Long Island University in the NEWHA semifinals.

Claire Casey’s overtime goal gave Franklin Pierce a 4-3 victory over Long Island University in the NEWHA semifinals. PHOTO BY KAYLA SCHUBERTH/FPU

Franklin Pierce head coach Mike Ruane talks to his players during a timeout.

Franklin Pierce head coach Mike Ruane talks to his players during a timeout. —PHOTO BY KAYLA SCHUBERTH/FPU

Published: 03-06-2024 9:04 AM

Modified: 03-07-2024 7:31 AM


Although the Franklin Pierce University women’s hockey team was one of two that beat Long Island University during the New England Women’s Hockey Alliance regular season, the fifth-seeded Ravens were still an underdog against the top-seeded Sharks in their conference tournament semifinal Saturday at the Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow, N.Y.

However, it is the Ravens who punched their ticket to the conference championship March 9 at 3 p.m. against No. 3 Stonehill at Bridgewater Ice Arena, as Claire Casey’s overtime goal gave Franklin Pierce a 4-3 victory.

The Sharks drew first blood with 7:38 remaining in the first period. Ryane Kearnes streaked along the right wing and ripped a shot from the top of the circle past Franklin Pierce goalie Jill Hertl (34 saves) to give the Sharks the 1-0 lead.  

The Ravens wasted no time responding, netting the equalizer just 21 seconds later. Grace Schuck picked up a Sharks turnover and shot over the right shoulder of Tindra Holm (29 saves), tying the score 1-1.  

The Sharks had the final say to end the first period. Anya Weilandt fed a pass in stride to Ashley Morrow, who dangled around the Ravens defense and roofed it past Hertl for the 2-1 lead.  

The Sharks extended their lead in the second period with 7:25 to go. Mikayla Lantto drove right to the net on a 2-on-1, faking a pass and tucking it in the open cage for the 3-1 lead.  

Late in the third and down 3-1, the Ravens pulled their keeper, and the offense scored back-to-back goals to send the contest into overtime. Schuck scored her second goal of the night after a shot from the blue line by Courtney Swenson went off the body of Lauren Maras. Schuck cleaned up the loose change and fired it above Holm’s blocker, making it a 3-2 Sharks lead with 2:09 left in regulation.

Schuck came up clutch again for the Ravens just 33 seconds later, netting her first career hat trick. Julia Stevens threw a puck toward the goal that was deflected by Anna CaumoSchuck was parked in front of the net and batted in the rebound.

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In the third minute of overtime, Jenna Ruiz pushed into the offensive zone and dropped a pass for Claire Casey, who fired an off angle shot and snatched the rebound. Shoving, pushing and whacking broke out at the left post, but the puck trickled by Holm to give the Ravens the victory.

Women’s basketball earns semfinal berth

The fifth-seeded Franklin Pierce women’s basketball team used a 26-point fourth quarter to beat No. 4 Southern New Hampshire University 78-67 Sunday afternoon in the Northeast-10 quarterfinal at Stan Spirou Field House

The Ravens secured their 20th victory of the season, marking the most wins in a single season since the program's 2011-2012 campaign. They play top-seeded Bentley University in Waltham, Mass., in the semifinals on Thursday.

The Penmen went on a 7-0 run against the Ravens halfway through the first quarter to take a 13-6 lead on their way to a 21-13 advantage.

 In the second quarter, Franklin Pierce shot 33% (3-9) from behind the arc to cut into the Penmen lead, which was 37-31 at the half. 

Both teams shot over 50% from the field in the third quarter, with Franklin Pierce outscoring Southern New Hampshire 21-18 to cut the deficit to 55-52. 

In the fourth quarter, the Ravens were 19-24 from the free-throw line and outrebounded the Penmen 14-5. Franklin Pierce outscored Southern New Hampshire 26-12 and went on a 19-0 run in the final five minutes of the game. 

For the Ravens, sophomore guard Leana Heitmann and senior guard Anna Badosa Soler combined for 49 points. Heitmann played 39 minutes and had 24 points. She was 7-16 from the field and 3-8 from behind the arc. She also was 7-9 from the free-throw line.

Soler played all 40 minutes and had 25 points, along with seven rebounds. She was 9-16 from the field and 6-7 from the charity stripe. 

Men’s basketball loses in first round

The Franklin Pierce University men’s basketball season came to a close Friday night during the first round of the Northeast-10 playoffs, as the Ravens fell 105-76 to the Penmen of Southern New Hampshire University.

In the first half, both teams made eight three-pointers. However, the Ravens struggled with 11 turnovers and the Penmen finished the half on a 14-6 run and led 51-36 at halftime. 

Southern New Hampshire had 26 bench points and 24 rebounds in the second half. The Penmen also shot 63% from the field and finished the game on a 21-5 run.

For Franklin Pierce, junior guard Dwayne Robinson O’Hagen played 28 minutes off the bench, leading the team with 19 points. He shot 7-13 from the field and was 4-8 from behind the arc.

Junior forward Ja’Keese Kemp played 29 minutes off the bench and finished the night with 17 points. He shot 3-7 from the field and was 10-11 from the free-throw line.

Sophomore guard Pierce Prendergast and sophomore forward Ugo Nwachukwu both had 11 points. 

The Ravens finish the season with a 4-25 record.