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Dolloff pulling out all the stops at Southern Connecticut

Audrey Dolloff stands tall in goal.

John Vanacore/Southern Conn. State

Audrey Dolloff stands tall in goal.

Dolloff holds the line
for Southern Connecticut

As the last line of defense on a young field hockey squad at Southern Connecticut State University, Audrey Dolloff is used to facing a high number of shots.

The former two-sport star at Bridgewater-Raynham High does not mind it at all.

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“It definitely keeps me on my toes the entire game,” said the sophomore goalie from Raynham, who is ranked third in Division 2 in saves (12.55 per game) and ninth in save percentage (.750). “There’s no time to wander, lose focus, or get off my angles.”

Last Tuesday, she played another stellar game between the pipes, turning aside 12 shots — nine in the second half — to backstop the Owls to a 3-2 victory over Northeast-10 Conference rival Assumption.

“Audrey combines natural ability with an amazing work ethic. She’s always in our top five in strength drills and conditioning runs. We’re extremely fortunate to have her in our program,’’ said Southern Connecticut coach Kelley Frassinelli, whose team improved to 3-9 with the win over Assumption.

“She is exceptional in her decision-making and a real fighter in the cage,’’ added her coach, “and even when things may not be going her way she’ll take each game in stride and come back stronger and more determined the next day. When I first saw her play in high school, I told myself, ‘we want this kid.’ ”

An inductee to the Bridgewater-Raynham Hall of Fame and the school’s Most Outstanding Female Athlete award winner her senior year, Dolloff was a Globe All-Scholastic pitcher who led a 21-2 Trojans squad to the Division 1 South title.

Dolloff hurled all 12 innings in a 1-0 victory over King Philip in the South final and she was also in net during the field hockey team’s run to the sectionals that ended in a first-round 2-1 loss to Barnstable.

She remains close to B-R field hockey head coach Elaine Sullivan, who also was a goalie at the high school and later collegiately at Division 1 Albany.

“I wasn’t connecting with the right college for me as a softball player,’’ said Dolloff, who walked on to Sullivan’s squad as a sophomore having never played the sport or the position before. She was a soccer goalie her freshman year. “So Elaine suggested during my senior season that I should find a school primarily for field hockey but one that also had a softball team as an option.’’

This past spring, Dolloff took the mound seven times for the Owls, five as a starter. She went 1-1 with a a 1.66 earned run average and held opponents to a staff-best .220 batting average.

Dolloff, whose older sister, Andrea, played field hockey at Bridgewater-Raynham, was named to the Northeast-10 and Synapse Sports All-Rookie field hockey teams last season. She ranked second in Division 2 in saves per game and also had a .764 save percentage and 3.11 goals-against average.

“She was an intuitive player even as a sophomore for me,’’ Sullivan said. “I had a lot of fun teaching her the position in high school and we still work out over the summer and stay in touch. I’m really proud that she’s stuck with it and that she’s also playing softball in college. And with all that she’s accomplished, Audrey is just incredibly modest.’’

Last year, Sullivan took her team to Stonehill College to watch Dolloff play.

“It was a great day. Southern Connecticut won and Audrey had an awesome game,’’ Sullivan said.

Dolloff’s quiet and calm demeanor, however, is not indicative of her inner feelings before planting herself in front of the net.

“I can get pretty keyed up, so before a game I clear my head by listening to music for motivation and also to relax,’’ she said, “and I clear my head again and have one of our senior captains [senior defender Meghan Lahm ] braid my hair. That’s my ritual.’’

Frassinelli said she admires Dolloff’s grace under pressure and the way she protects the goal when playing the angles.

“But most of all,’’ she said, “Audrey’s a supportive teammate who has earned their respect.’’

O’Brien and Ladue key in UMass Dartmouth start

Senior goalkeeper Lauren O’Brien (Old Rochester Regional) and classmate and defender Alison Ladue (Bridgewater-Raynham) sparked the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth field hockey team to a 10-3 start (7-0 Little East Conference).

The Corsairs had won five straight prior to Thursday’s home game against Wesleyan.

Ladue’s four goals and 13 points ranked third on the team and her five assists tied for the team lead. Her fourth goal provided all the scoring in a win over Salem State Oct. 5.

O’Brien, who had started every game, and is backed up by sophomore Liz Delaney (Foxborough High), had a 1.10 goals-against average, .851 save percentage, and stood out last Saturday with 10 saves in a 2-1 victory over Southern Maine.

Forrest nets game-winner for Newbury College

Newbury College freshman men’s soccer forward Ethan Forrest (East Bridgewater High) scored his team-leading sixth and seventh goals of the season Tuesday — including the game winner with three minutes to play in regulation — when the Nighthawks (6-8 overall, 4-1 New England Collegiate Conference) defeated Mitchell, 2-1.

“Ethan possesses a rare gift in that he’s fearless when it comes to scoring goals,’’ said the Brookline school’s head coach Andrew Lafrenz, whose team resumed play Wednesday at Daniel Webster College. “He has great confidence in front of the net.’’

A three-sport athlete in high school, Forrest will also play baseball at Newbury.

Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com.
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