Nov. 11, 2009

Courtesy of Stevens Athletics

HOBOKEN, N.J. – Freshman Kelby Bolton (Souderton, Pa.) converted a penalty stroke in the 96th minute of play to lift the No. 19 Eastern University field hockey team to a thrilling, 1-0, double overtime victory over No. 16 Stevens Institute of Technology on Wednesday night at the De Baun Athletic Complex in the first round of the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship. Eastern (18-4) will advance to play the tournament’s top seed, Messiah College, on Saturday afternoon in Grantham, Pa. Stevens ends its season with an overall mark of 17-4.

The first half saw a lot of back-and-forth but both defenses played well, limiting the quality scoring chances for both teams. Eastern had the first strong scoring opportunity of the day after a Hawk penalty corner. Sophomore Yvonne Herbster (Middleburg, Pa.) hit out to the top of the circle and then received a pass back about six yards away from the left post. She controlled and lifted a shot in the air but Stevens goalkeeper Ellyn Griggs was able to make the save.

The Ducks’ first good chance of the game came after a penalty corner as well. Freshman Marguerite Chavez received the initial hit out from senior Kara Borzillo and took a shot that was blocked. Chavez corralled the rebound and passed back to Borzillo on the left post but her shot missed wide, and Eastern was able to clear.

The Ducks generated a great chance off of their second penalty corner of the half. With 9:15 to play in the period, sophomore Jillian Price took a shot that was deflected and then bounced off the post. The rebound went to Borzillo, again on the left post, and her shot was denied thanks to a great defensive save by sophomore Danielle Danser (Gibbsboro, N.J.).

The final solid chance of the half came off the stick of Hawk senior Lindsay Moyer (Telford, Pa.). She received a pass on the left side of the circle and ripped a rocket, but Griggs was once again up for the task and made the kick save.

Stevens went into the break with a 5-3 edge in shots but Eastern out-cornered Stevens 4-3.

Similar to the first half, the second half saw limited chances for either squad. Eastern was able to keep the ball in the Stevens zone for much of the period but could not find the net. The first came early after a corner as senior Kimberly Campbell (Malvern, Pa.) took a shot from the top left of the circle after the initial hit and Griggs was able to make a save once again. The attempt after the rebound was blocked as well and the score remained knotted at 0-0.

The Ducks were able to keep the Eastern offense at bay and got on the offensive later in the half. Over a span of 2:39, the Ducks generated three penalty corners, but were unable to convert any into a score.
Eastern had one more good look in before time ran out but freshman Britanny Moyer’s (Telford, Pa.) bid went just wide.

The first overtime saw several good chances for each team but the two defenses held tight and would refused to allow a goal to be scored. Price and Borzillo had nice runs for the Ducks but both were thwarted, and sophomore Christin Haas (Wilmington, Del.) had a shot sail inches wide for the Hawks. Eastern took four shots and three corners in the first extra period, and Stevens took two shots and three corners.

Much of the second overtime was played in the middle third of the field as each team’s defense stopped every good run by the opposition. After an Eastern timeout with 6:25 left, the Hawks were able to keep the ball in the Stevens zone. Then, with 3:56 left on the clock, Eastern was able to force the issue, got a penalty corner and Stevens was then whistled for trapping the ball in the box. A penalty stroke ensued, and Bolton was able to convert to send the Hawks into the second round.

Eastern ended the game with a 16-10 edge in shots and Stevens took 14 corners compared to 13 for the Hawks. Griggs made six saves for Stevens and junior Laura Ressler (Media, Pa.) made two in the win for the Hawks.