GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Down 3-0 to start its NCAA Division III Tournament semifinal against fourth-ranked SUNY-Cortland, Gettysburg rattled off five-straight goals and never relinquished the lead en route to a 13-11.
No. 7 Gettysburg (18-4) advances to the national title game for the first time in 2006 and will face 11th-ranked Bowdoin College (18-3), which defeated top-ranked College of New Jersey 12-9 in Saturday’s first semifinal. The championship game is set for 3 p.m. on Sunday at Motamed Field.
Hannah Church continued her postseason surge with four goals, giving her 21 for the entire playoffs and shattering the previous tournament record. Kelsey Markiewicz rattled off all four of her goals in the second half and Lindsey Robinson put in three goals and dished out two assists.
Cortland (21-1) got off to a quick start with three goals in the game’s first four minutes, but Gettysburg erased the deficit in a hurry with back-to-back goals by Robinson setting the score at 3-3 at 19:32. Church added a free-position goal to give the Bullets the lead and freshman Loren Pruitt added a tally off a feed from Robinson to set the score at 5-3 at 13:55 in the first half.
The Red Dragons cut the deficit to one, before Church tossed in her playoff record-breaking goal at 3:52. Robinson added another tally before Cortland closed the half with a score to pull to 8-6.
After trading goals to start the final period, Markiewicz took matters into her own hands with a pair of free-position goals to give Gettysburg its largest lead of the game at 11-7 with 17:25 to play. The freshman followed up a Dragon goal with her fourth tally of the period to make it 12-8 with 13:18 to play.
Cortland was down, but certainly not out, netting three of the next four goals to pull to 13-11 with just over seven minutes to play. Gettysburg won the next draw control, but the Red Dragons made the stop as Shauna Hutchinson put the clamp on Church’s free-position shot.
Gettysburg’s Maddie Coleman, who made 11 saves in the game, came up with her biggest stop in crunch time. Facing a free-position attempt by Lindsay Abbott, the Bullets’ junior keeper stonewalled the shot and Gettysburg came up with the ground ball with 4:30 left in the game. Gettysburg successfully cleared the ball up the field and avoided the Dragon’s pressure to close the game.
Shots were almost even with Cortland ahead 28-27. The Bullets led in ground balls 19-13, while the Red Dragons led in draw controls 15-11. Cortland committed 16 turnovers in the game, three more than Gettysburg.
Church broke the NCAA Division III postseason scoring record of 19 set by Franklin & Marshall’s Jen Pritchard in 2007. She now has 81 on the year, third all-time in a single season.
Becky Lutz and Hayward Sawers each scooped up five ground balls, the former adding a pair of draw controls. Mairead McGuirk won five draw controls for the Bullets.
Ashley Cook led Cortland with four goals and Lindsay Abbott posted three goals and a pair of assists.