(Posted August 30, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- With the graduation of a Class of 2008 that accounted for 50 of the Eagles' 67 goals last season, the biggest question for Juniata College field hockey as it opened its 2008 season was where was the offense going to come from?

In Saturday evening's opener against Arcadia University, the Eagles found out Erin Smith (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra) might be a big part of the answer.

The senior co-captain tallied three goals, including two in the first eight minutes of play, with one assist to lead 14th-ranked Juniata to a 6-0 blanking of the Knights, in the first game of the 2008 Stevens Institute Tournament in Hoboken, N.J.

Smith notched her first goal with a rush up the middle that beat Knight goalie Brittany Rasmussen at the 28:10 mark of the opening period. Her second goal, just 56 seconds later, came courtesy a cross from Paula Price (Camp Hill, Pa./Pennsboro).

Freshmen Molly Snyder (Boalsburg, Pa./State College Area) and Brittany Kauffman (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove) added goals before the end of the half. Smith picked up the assist on Snyder's marker, while newcomer Kara Buda's (Franklin, N.J./Wallkill Valley) drop pass to Kauffman earned her an assist as well.

Smith completed her hat trick with an unassisted goal barely eight minutes into the second half. Buda capped the scoring with her first collegiate goal with 23:10 remaining in the game.

Juniata's Abby Funk (Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg), Denalyn Spratt (Haddon Heights, N.J./Haddon Heights), and Moira Nugent (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter Strasburg) shared the shutout, with Funk getting credit for the win. She played the first 31:51 of the game, chalking up two saves. Spratt came on with approximately three minutes remaining in the opening half and made one save over her 23 minutes goal, while Nugent played the final 15 minutes to close out the affair.

Rasmussen played all 70 minutes, finishing with five saves against six goals allowed.

The Eagles outshot Arcadia 16-6, and held a 6-4 advantage in penalty corners.

Juniata continues play in the Stevens Tournament on Sunday evening, as its faces the host squad from Stevens at 5:00 p.m. The Juniata-Stevens contest will be a rematch of last year match in which Stevens knocked off then 14th-ranked Juniata 2-1 in both teams' 2007 season opener �?�¢?" one of only three losses suffered by the Eagles last season.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.