Nov. 13, 2009

 

Sidebar: Down An ACL, Lowell's Moulton Carries On

By Dan Hickling
Special to NCAA.com

EASTON, Mass. – Sammy Macy rocketed home the game winning goal with 1:46 to play to give UMass-Lowell a dramatic 2-1 win over host Stonehill College, in an NCAA Division II National Semifinal game played at W.B. Mason Stadium, Friday.

Macy's 12 yard blast, which exploded like a bomb into the back of the cage, lifted the Riverhawks to their third straight National Championship clash with Bloomsburg University, to be played, here, Sunday (1 p.m.).

The three-time defending champion Huskies captured the other Semifinal with a 4-2 win over Shippensburg.
To force a “three-match” with Bloomsburg, Lowell erased a 1-0 halftime deficit with goals from Moulton and Macy, whose game-winner came as overtime loomed.

“I thought,” said Macy, “either we're going into overtime, or I'm putting the ball in the net. I'm not letting that happen.”

Moulton, who has played the last few games with a torn ACL, said she knew the ball was going in even before Macy began her down stroke.

“Practices, games,” said Moulton. “She just has that magical touch on that ball.”

Magic perhaps, if the wand is a sledge hammer.

Macy, a junior, hit the shot with the full force of her powerful 5-foot-9 frame.

“I wanted to get that winning goal,” said Macy, who now has 24 tallies. “We said in the huddle, 'who wants to get this next goal? Who wants to win this?'”.

Stonehill grabbed the lead at 20:24, when sophomore Kathryn Nelson finished off a lead pass from junior Lindsay Pinkham.

Nelson was parked in front of Lowell goalie Amy Carbon, when she took Pinkham's feed, spun around, the fired.

“I remember that Lindsay was at the 25,” said Nelson “and got it in. I stopped it, looked up, and tapped it in. That's how field hockey is. Someone's always on you. The goalie was right there, and I just went to the right.”

It was her 11th goal of the season.

Late in the half, Jackie Ladino nearly doubled the Stonehill lead, when she unloaded a 15 footer.
However Carbon made a lunging save on the shot, then smothered Ladino's attempt to stuff home the rebound.
“We were clearly dominating,” said Shelly Morris, Stonehill's second year coach. “We were dominating with our passing game. We were sustaining our attack. I think we should have gotten up 2-0 before halftime, but it didn't happen.”

Instead, Moulton made it 1-1 with seven minutes gone in the second half when she picked up her own rebound and tucked it home.

The goal signaled a strong momentum shift in Lowell's direction.

“We were on a high after getting that first goal,” said Macy. “Then we know we can put another one in.”
And they did.
With a bang.

EMPTY NETTERS: Ladino said that the boisterous home crowd, listed as 1,143, gave the Skyhawks a huge lift.
“It was intense,” she said. “Every time you touched the ball, you thought, 'I'm going to do something with it and make something happen'. You're surrounded by your friends and family, and everyone's supporting you. It was awesome.”

Oddly enough, the heavily pro-Stonehill crowd had provided energy to the Riverhawks, too.

“I think it was the biggest and loudest crowd we've ever played in front of,” said Lowell coach Shannon Hlebichuk. “I think that had an impact because the energy of the crowd fell over into the field. We haven't been chanted against like that before, and we felt like we were at a big-time event.”

Hlebichuk said that she has tried to discourage Macy from unloading her wicked slapper during practice, and instead, save it for opposing goaltenders.

“We know what happens,” said Hlebichuk. “If another team ever lets her get to the top of the circle, it's a bomb. Everybody duck for cover.”