Montclair State blanks Mary Washington to earn first title game bid
GENEVA, N.Y. -- Montclair State earned the right to appear in its first national championship match with a 4-0 victory against Mary Washington in an Division III Field Hockey semifinal on William Smith College’s McCooey Field on Saturday.
The Red Hawks improved to 22-1 this season and will face No. 10 Tufts University on Sunday in the national championship match on McCooey Field at 1 p.m. The Jumbos earned a 2-0 win against DePauw University in the other semifinal match played this afternoon.
Mary Washington finished their season with a 20-2 record.
The field hockey squad becomes the first women’s team in school history to take part in a national championship game and will try to join the Montclair State baseball (three times) and wrestling (twice) as the only sports to be crowned national champions.
“I am really pleased with the way we played [Saturday],” said head coach Beth Gottung. “I thought we had some really great individual performances and the team as a whole followed the game plan and did what they needed to do [Saturday]. I am really proud of them.”
Junior Stephanie Lewis led Montclair with two goals and an assist. Senior goalie Megan Bosland finished with three saves to earn her 11th shutout of the season. It was the 12th shutout of the year for the Red Hawks.
Montclair came out strong, scoring three goals in the first half. A little more than 15 minutes into the game, the Red Hawks earned a corner, but a Mary Washington defender committed a foul, and Montclair was awarded a penalty stroke. Lewis capitalized on the stroke to make it 1-0.
Just 68 seconds later, junior Brooke Hullings took advantage of a Red Hawk corner to make it 2-0. Lewis sent a cross through the middle to Hullings on the right side who deflected the ball into the goal. It was Hullings’ fourth goal of the season.
In the 34th minute, Lewis notched her second tally of the game and her fourth of the year. A Montclair corner was sent into junior Jennifer Tafro (Little Falls, NJ, Passaic Valley) who pushed a pass to the right. Lewis drilled a hard shot into the cage to stretch the lead to 3-0.
“I’ve been working on shooting in practice,” said Lewis. “The play was supposed to go to someone else but instead it went to me, so I just took the shot.”
Mary Washington had its best scoring chance early in the second half. The Eagles earned three corners in a row, but were unable to take advantage.
In the 52nd minute, senior Frances Schaefer logged her 17th goal of the year for the final margin. Schaefer put a shot on goal that was saved, but collected the rebound and sent it by the keeper.
The Red Hawks held a 16-8 lead in shots and an 11-8 advantage in penalty corners.
Senior Claire Gianelle finished with six saves in goal for the Eagles.