MANCHESTER, N.H. – The top-seeded Saint Anselm College field hockey team suffered a heart-breaking 2-1 setback in overtime to No. 2 seed LIU Post in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship game held at Grappone Stadium in Manchester, N.H. on Sunday afternoon.
The #3 Hawks drop to 16-4 with the setback and now await word on an NCAA Tournament bid. The selection show will be on Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. on NCAA.com and can be watched by clicking here.
LIU Post (15-3) controlled the action early in the game and earned back-to-back penalty corners in the 16th minute. On the second chance, Katherine Sears was able to save the first shot off the stick of Arantza Rosainz Caloca, but the ball got trapped under the feet of Sears, leading to a penalty stroke for the Pioneers.
Steph Mocerino stepped to the spot and tucked the ball inside the right post to give the visitors the 1-0 advantage only 16:29 into the game.
Kelsey Leblanc registered the lone shot of the half for the Hawks as the Pioneers held a 6-1 advantage in shots and 4-3 edge in penalty corners through the first 35 minutes.
Out of the break, LIU Post immediately went in search of an insurance goal as the Pioneers took the first four shots of the period, but Katherine Sears was there for the stop each time.
The Saint Anselm offense finally showed some life as Emma Kincaid played a ball ahead to Hannah Friend down the left side in the 42nd minute of action. Friend worked her way through the defense and put a ball in front that was kicked away by Ericka Parks. The clear bounced right to Rose Mooney and the senior fired on goal, but Parks made it back to her line in time to make the save.
Friend had another chance in the 44th minute as she was able to get a pair of shots on goal off a corner, but Parks stopped her both times.
The two teams played for possession over the next 16 minutes as the Pioneers tried to run out the clock, while Saint Anselm desperately searched for the equalizer.
In the closing seconds of regulation, the Hawks earned a penalty corner and let time run out on the game and took their last try at tying the game. Erin Collins played the ball to the top of the circle to Rose Mooney, and she fired a bouncing shot into the back of the cage, knotting the game at 1-1 and sending it to overtime.
Less than two minutes into the extra frame, Julie Gysels played a long ball from near midfield into the circle where Emily Miller was able to get a touch on it and send it out to her right. Miller took one more touch and fired through the outstretched arms of Katherine Sears, giving the Pioneers the 2-1 victory and the 2016 NE-10 Championship.
The Pioneers' Emily Miller was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Championship Tournament and was joined there by Grace Illias and Ericka Parks. Saint Anselm's Erin Collins and Rose Mooney also earned spots on the All-Championship Team.
LIU Post held a 15-9 edge in shots in the game, while Saint Anselm attempted seven corners to just five for the visitors. Katherine Sears made seven saves, while Ericka Parks registered five saves for the visitors.
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