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fieldhockey-d3 flag | November 9, 2013

Montclair St, Salisbury, Skidmore all head to NCAA tournament

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Eighth-ranked Salisbury earned the program's 17th Capital Athletic Conference championship, handing previously unbeaten No. 3 Christopher Newport its first loss of the season.

Salisbury (14-3), the second-seeded team in the CAC tournament, outshot the Captains 21-6 for the contest but it took until the second overtime period for the Sea Gulls to push home the game's only goal. With 1:14 left before the game would be decided by penalty strokes, Salisbury freshman Yumi Kim put home a shot to give the Gulls sudden victory. Kim rifled a shot from 10 yards out, from the left side of the goal and into the right side of the cage over the goalie's blocker.

The Sea Gulls dominated the contest all around. Christopher Newport (19-1) did not attempt their first shot in the game until 20 minutes had elapsed, with junior Rachel Clewer turning away the opportunity.

For the contest, Clewer made three saves to post her fifth shutout of the season. Senior Katie Hastings also had a defensive save as the Sea Gull defense, led by Hastings, Amanda Cooper and Alexis Carroll, notched its ninth shutout of the season.

Salisbury had an 18-6 advantage in penalty corners, including a 3-0 edge in each of the overtime periods.

Junior Mallory Elliott led the Sea Gull attack with five shots, with classmate Summer Washburn attempting four shots.

Captain goalie Bailey Lien made eight saves to keep her team in the contest. Kelsey Clark led Christopher Newport with two shots in the game. Belle Tunstall, the team's leader in goals and points, did not attempt a shot in the contest.

Salisbury has qualified for the last 19 NCAA tournaments and 30 overall.

NJAC Finals

MONTCLAIR, N.J. -- Sophomore forward Maura Johnston scored the game's lone goal with 16:28 remaining as top-ranked and top-seeded Montclair State captured its second consecutive New Jersey Athletic Conference championship with a 1-0 victory against second-seeded and ninth-ranked TCNJ on Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore goalkeeper Rebecca Brattole stopped seven shots as the Red Hawks (20-1) won its second league crown overall and also claimed the NJAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship. It will be the third consecutive NCAA appearance for MSU and fifth overall including last year when Montclair reached the national championship game.

Selections and pairings for the NCAA Tournament will be announced on at 10 p.m. Sunday on

Junior goalkeeper Amanda Krause had a pair of saves for the Lions (16-4), who will now wait to see if it is selected for an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament. The Lions were ranked second behind Montclair State in the latest regional rankings.

It was the second time in three years that the two teams met in the NJAC title game. TCNJ won the inaugural conference championship contest in 2011 with a 2-0 win in Ewing.

TCNJ, which was seeking its 25th conference crown, outshot Montclair State 10-3 in the game however it was the Red Hawks getting the lone score of the game from Johnston, who helped set up the sequence of events that led to the goal.

Brattole came up with a save against Victoria Martin at 52:13 of the second half. The Red Hawks cleared the ball out of the circle and moved up the field when senior Brooke Hullings sent a ball down inside the circle at the other end. Johnston, racing step for step with a defender for the loose ball, forced a foul inside the circle giving Montclair State a penalty corner.

Off the corner insert, Jennifer Tafro fed the ball to Stephanie Lewis, who then gave the ball back to Tafro in the middle. Tafro drove in before flipping a pass to Johnston down low. Johnston then whirled and fired a shot inside the right post for her 10th goal of the year and more importantly a 1-0 Montclair State lead.

TCNJ would get a pair of opportunities within the final three minutes. Off a penalty corner, Lindsey Hatch tried to lift a ball from the top left side over Brattole, who for the second time in the game made a glove stop knocking the ball out of the air. Jordan Calderone got  the last chance with 1:03 remaining but again Brattole was there for the stop.

The Lions outshot MSU 7-0 in the first half. Danielle Adreula was stopped by Brattole 10 minutes in and Hatch's first attempt on the high-arching shot was knocked away at the 11:21 mark. Erin Healy had a shot on the goal denied at 26:45 and a second shot by Hatch with 2:35 remaining was smothered by Brattole as the game went scoreless into halftime.

Liberty League Finals

No. 12 Skidmore 4, No. 10 William Smith 3

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Skidmore battled to its fifth Liberty League championship in six years with a 4-3 win against William Smith on Saturday at Wagner Park.

With the win, Skidmore advances to its seventh consecutive and 13th overall NCAA Tournament.

Jenn Hanks netted her second of the postseason to open the scoring at 5:54 with a long-range blast, but William Smith responded in the 10th minute, as Julia Simmons tallied her 11th goal of the season with a lofted shot from the top of the circle.

Dani DeGregory restored the Skidmore lead in the 30th minute, dribbling past her defender and ripped a backhand shot from 12 yards out.

The Herons responded 26 seconds later as Alessandra Patrizio tipped in Caitlin Moran's shot from the top of the circle.

The Thoroughbreds jumped back in front 37 seconds into the second half through Kelly Blackhurst's 99th career goal.

Liberty League tournament most outstanding player Sam Skott beat her defender down the left wing and fed a perfectly weighted pass to Blackhurst, who slotted home a backhand after making a quick move around the goalkeeper.

William Smith continued to demonstrate its resilience, bringing the game level in the 52nd from a penalty corner. Magaret McConnell scored her fourth goal is as many games, recovering a loose ball and firing a shot from the top of the circle.

With the game looking like it was set for overtime, Skott secured the final lead Skidmore would need at 67:37, redirecting Sam Revera's long-range effort.

The Herons threatened late, but Haley McDougall stood tall, making the biggest of her eight saves in the 68th minute, turning away Cory Connolly's close-range effort.

William Smith had one final chance from a penalty corner with no time remaining on the clock, but the Skidmore defense was there to deny the scoring opportunity.

NESCAC Semifinals

No. 4 Bowdoin 4, No. 2 Tufts 2

AMHERST, Mass. -- Third-seeded Bowdoin a regular-season loss to second-seeded Tufts in the NESCAC semifinal on Saturday afternoon with three second-half goals in a 14:18 span, to go on and defeat the Jumbos 4-2.

Advancing to its fourth consecutive conference final, the Polar Bears (14-2, 8-2 NESCAC) will square off with rival Middlebury on Sunday in a rematch of the last two league championship games. Falling to 14-2 (9-1 NESCAC) on the year, last year's national champion Jumbos will await to hear about a possible at-large bid to the upcoming NCAA tournament when the 24-team field is officially announced at 10 p.m. Sunday.

Generating the game's first good scoring opportunity, Bowdoin's Emily Simonton received the ball on the left side before forcing Tufts goalkeeper Brianna Keenan to make a pad save. Moments later, Simonton put another shot on target, but Keenan used her blocker to punch the high attempt over the crossbar. Earning a penalty corner in the 23rd minute, Katie Riley played the insert to the top of the circle. Settling a misplayed ball, Colleen Finnerty ripped a long shot into the lower left corner at 22:21 to put the Polar Bears on the board. Creating its first solid scoring chance at the end of the first half, Tufts got the ball to Rachel Terveer on the left post, but Bowdoin's Hannah Gartner kicked the ball away before Terveer could put a try on net.

Seizing the momentum at the start of the second, Tufts earned a pair of penalty corners. Stephanie Wan got a shot off at 47:39, prompting a Gartner save. Collecting the long rebound, Alexandra Jamison slotted a low shot into the right corner of the cage to tie the game. Bowdoin answered just four minutes later. Catching up to a through-ball on the left side, Adrienne O'Donnell poked the ball around a charging Keenan. Beating a Jumbo defender to the ball at the end line, she tucked a shot inside the near post to put the Polar Bears back on top.

Capitalizing on a third consecutive penalty corner, Tufts once again tied it in the 57th minute. Receiving the insert on the left side, Dakota Sikes-Keilp fed a pass to Emily Cannon who fired a hard shot past Gartner at 56:22. Taking advantage of a penalty corner of its own in the 64th minute, Bowdoin wasted little time retaking the lead. Getting the insert on the left side, O'Donnell played a pass across to Riley on the back post who tipped it across the goal line to make it 3-2. Keeping the pressure on, the Polar Bears added an insurance marker just 2:08 later as Kimmie Ganong put away a rebound off an O'Donnell shot.

Bowdoin finished with a slim 10-9 shot advantage and a 9-5 edge in corners. Hartner and Keenan each finished with five saves, while O'Donnell led the Polar Bear attack with a goal and an assist.

No. 5 Middleury 1, No. 6 Amherst 0

AMHERST, Mass. -- Middlebury's Pam Schulman netted the game winner in the 59th minute to lift the fourth-seeded Panthers to a 1-0 victory against top-seeded Amherst in the NESCAC semifinals on Gooding Field. Middlebury will meet Bowdoin in the championship game at noon Sunday.

Snapping Amherst’s 13-game win streak, Middlebury (14-2, 8-2 NESCAC) advances to its third consecutive league championship game. Falling to the fifth-ranked Panthers by a single goal for the second time this season, Amherst (13-3, 9-1 NESCAC) will hope to receive an at-large bid to the upcoming NCAA tournament when the 24-team field is officially announced at 10 p.m. Sunday.

With neither team able to generate any offense in the early going, Middlebury put the game’s first shot on net when Alyssa DiMaio corralled a loose ball in front and forced Rachel Tannenbaum  to make a pad save with just under 20 minutes to go in the first half.

With under 10 minutes to go in the opening stanza, Katherine Theiss narrowly missed a chance to put Middlebury in front, redirecting a shot just wide of the right post. Just more than a minute later, the Panthers again threatened, but Tannenbaum made a big save on a Shannon Hutteman try from the edge of the circle. Earning another corner moments later, Catherine Fowler looked to have pulled the visitors ahead when she evaded a defender and ripped a high try into the back of the cage, but an illegal shot was called, negating the would-be goal.

Making a move down the right end line, Zsitvay nearly netted the game’s first tally early in the second half, but her shot rattled off the near post. Moving into the circle in the 44th minute, Middlebury earned a penalty corner. Putting three quick tries on goal, the Panthers came close to taking the lead, but Tannenbaum turned away all three attempts to keep the game scoreless.

With under 11 minutes left in regulation, Middlebury pushed forward still looking for the game’s first marker. Carrying it up the right side, Fowler slotted a pass toward the front of the net. Making a run to the cage, Schulman redirected it past Tannenbaum, tucking the go-ahead goal inside the right post at 58:58.

The Panthers finished with a 9-5 shot advantage and a 7-5 edge in corners. Emily Knapp finished with a pair of saves, while Tannenbaum made five stops.

Centennial Conference Semifinals

No. 7 Franklin & Marshall 3, Haverford 1

LANCASTER, Pa. -- Franklin & Marshall advanced to Centennial Conference (CC) final for the third consecutive year with a 3-1 win against Haverford on Saturday afternoon. The Diplomats increased their winning streak to seven games and improved to 17-1 this season.

The Diplomats dominated in the first half, controlling the action for the majority of the opening stanza. F&M had multiple opportunities firing off 20 shots in the first while limiting the Fords to just two. The Diplomats finally got on the board when Juliet Dalton hit the ball from outside the circle and the ball hit off Haverford's keeper Lindsey Lopes' back heel and went into the net in the 25th minute. The goal was statistically credited as an "own goal" on the Fords.

F&M came out strong in the second, scoring two goals in the first three minutes of action. The first score came in the 38th minute when Mary Kate Olson's shot was saved, went back into play and Lauren Eastman was there to the tap the ball home for a 2-0 F&M advantage.

Under a minute later F&M made it 3-0. Maria Guarisco knifed the ball to bottom right of the cage behind the goalie where Katie Cecere was waiting to knock the ball in for her 10th goal of the year.

The Fords got on the board at 51:52 when Brenna Boehman finished off a pass from Megan Holt to make it 3-1. F&M controlled the most of the remaining action, allowing just one shot, to come away with win.

Avery Koep (16-1) turned one shot in the win while Lopes (11-8) took the loss with seven stops.

F&M held a 29-4 advantage in shots and an 18-5 edge in corners.

Ursinus 4, Dickinson 1

LANCASTER, Pa. -- Sophomore defender Megan Keenan scored three goals, all unassisted, as second-seeded Ursinus (13-5) defeated third-seeded Dickinson (12-6) 4-1 on Saturday in the Centennial Conference championship semifinal.

Keenan scored goals at 21:18, 58:05 and 65:40 as the Bears had a 19-10 advantage on shots and a 13-7 edge in corners.

Ursinus got on the board early as junior defender Nora Kornfeld scored on an assist from freshman forward Amber Steigerwalt at 3:03 for a 1-0 lead.

Keenan scored the only other goal of the first half, when she intercepted a Dickinson clear and converted her 22nd goal of the year for a 2-0 lead at intermission.

Dickinson cut the Ursinus lead to 2-1 at 52:17 when Erica Marshall scored off of a corner.

Keenan would then score the last two goals of the game, including her last goal at 65:40 when she spun around a Dickinson defender and converted her 24th goal of the year.

In goal, sophomore Danielle DeSpirito made five saves.