May 16, 2010

Courtesy of Hamilton College

CLINTON, N.Y. - Sarah Bray '11 scored three goals and added three assists to lead nationally ranked No. 1 and undefeated Hamilton College to a 14-9 win against No. 9 Colby College in a 2010 NCAA Division III championship regional final at Hamilton's Steuben Field on May 16.

Hamilton (20-0 overall) advanced to the NCAA championship semifinals for the third straight year. The Continentals won the national title in 2008 and lost to Franklin & Marshall College in the 2009 semis. Hamilton will get a chance to avenge that 2009 loss as the teams will meet again at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 22. Franklin & Marshall defeated the University of Mary Washington, 16-3 in a regional final game played at F&M on Sunday.

The Continentals extended their home win-streak to 38 games. Hamilton's six seniors, Matilda Andersson '10, Kayla Bettenhauser '10, Kate Fowler '10, Audrey Nebergall '10, Liz Rave '10 and Hilary Saverin '10, have never lost a game at home in their four years at Hamilton.

Hamilton is now 4-0 all-time against Colby. The Mules were making their first appearance in a regional final in Colby's fourth trip to the NCAA championships. The Mules finished their season with a 15-5 overall record.

Bray also picked up three ground balls and won two draw controls. Bray leads the Continentals with 45 assists. Anne Graveley '11 chipped in four goals, one assist and two draw controls. Libby Schultz '12 and Rave scored two goals apiece. Rachel Friedman '13 chipped in one goal and one assist. Friedman also recorded a game-high six ground balls, won two draw controls and forced three turnovers.

Fowler played all 60 minutes in goal and stopped five shots. Fowler leads Division III with a 6.19 goals against average. Lauren Sokol '12 tallied four ground balls and three caused turnovers.

Bray set the tone for the Continentals with two goals in the opening 40 seconds of the first half, and Hamilton never trailed. Bray sent a shot past the Mules' goalie just 15 seconds in, and 25 seconds later, she scored another unassisted goal to give Hamilton a 2-0 lead. The Mules scored their first goal at the 24:51 mark.

Hamilton began to pull away scoring the next three goals. Ashley Allen '12 scored her 14th goal at 21:52. Then Bray sent a pass ahead to Graveley who eluded a defender and fired a shot past the goalie. Graveley earned an assist when Schultz scored with 17:44 left in the first half to put Hamilton up, 5-1.

With a little over nine minutes left in the half, Colby scored its second goal of the game. Schultz answered with her 28th goal with 5:34 on the clock to make the score 6-2. With just 28 seconds left in the first half, the Mules scored an unassisted goal to cut their deficit to three goals going into the break.

The teams provided a furious offensive pace early in the second half as 12 goals were scored in the first 10:30. The Continentals came out strong scoring three goals in the first two minutes. Fifty-six seconds in Graveley put Hamilton up 7-3. Rave then scored back-to-back goals just 26 seconds apart to give Hamilton a 9-3 lead. Rave leads Hamilton with her 42 goals this season.

The Mules would not go away quietly. Colby capitalized on a free position at the 27:48 mark, and then scored again 1:31 later to get within four. Friedman scored her 39th goal at 25:57. The Mules answered 1:15 later with another goal on a free position shot.

Graveley then scored back-to-back goals to make the score 12-6. Graveley's first goal came off an assist from Bray, and Friedman was credited with the assist on the second. Just 21 seconds later, Bray scored an unassisted goal to give Hamilton its largest lead at 13-6.

With 20:30 on the clock, the Mules scored their third free position goal of the game, and one minute later, Colby cut its deficit to five. Things really settled down at that point as the Continentals concentrated on possession and Colby committed six turnovers during the next 12 minutes. Caroline Morgan '13 took a pass from Bray and came around the left side of the goal to score Hamilton's 14th of the afternoon with 7:02 left. Colby scored once more with 2:45 on the clock, but it wasn't enough to avoid the end of Colby's season.

The Continentals enjoyed a 26-21 advantage in shots and a 26-17 edge in ground balls. Colby won 15 draw controls, while Hamilton won nine. The Mules were successful on 12 of 19 clear attempts, and Hamilton was successful on all 18 of its attempts.