UPDATE: Junior Brooke Haskell was named to the Northeast-10 Conference All-Tournament Team for her efforts in Friday's loss to LIU Post.
MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College field hockey team, ranked third in NCAA Division II by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, dropped a 3-2 overtime contest in the Northeast-10 Conference semifinals on Friday at Grappone Stadium.
Saint Anselm loses for only the second time this season, falling to 17-2 overall following its elimination from the NE10 postseason. LIU Post, ranked fifth nationally, moves to 17-3 and will host Assumption in the league championship at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Hawks will wait until early next week to see if they have earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Ahead by a 2-1 margin in the second half, LIU Post's Alyssa Lopresti scored her second goal of the game in the 59th minute to knot the score at two. Despite facing nine Saint Anselm shots in the final 35 minutes, the Pioneers turned the tables on the Hawks, outshooting the hosts by a 10-to-2 margin in the two overtime periods.
Immediately following a penalty corner, Emily Miller was able to get a shot off that was saved by Saint Anselm goaltender Julia Hand. The rebound, however, found its way back to the stick of Miller – she buried the ball into the center of the net, lifting LIU Post to its second-straight victory over Saint Anselm dating back to last year's league tournament.
Mary Nee started the scoring for the Hawks, potting her third goal of the season with only 7.1 seconds left on the first half scoreboard. Saint Anselm forced a turnover in the waning seconds of the contest and the ball was sent up to Mia Vecchione, who was sprinting up the right side. A simple right-to-left cross caught a wide open Nee who fired the ball past the Pioneers netminder for the goal.
Shortly after Lopresti's first tally of the game at 39:04, Hannah Friend gave Saint Anselm the lead once again, backhanding the ball past LIU Post's Rachel Vellis off of a nifty pass from Nee less than two minutes after the Pioneers' game-tying strike.
LIU Post outshot Saint Anselm, 18-to-15, to snap a 20-game streak in which the Hawks fired more shots than their opponent. Saint Anselm did earn one more penalty corner than LIU Post, 12-to-11.
Hand drew only her second career loss, making eight saves on 11 shots. Vellis halted nine shots, yielding two goals while aided by a defensive save from Kate Melvin.