No. 5 field hockey downed by No. 6 Millersville in NCAA First Round tilt

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The No. 5-ranked Saint Anselm College field hockey team was downed by the visiting Marauders from No. 6-ranked Millersville University on Saturday at Grappone Stadium in the First Round of the 2017 NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championship.

Box Score 

After 100 scoreless minutes of regulation and overtime, Millersville picked up the victory in the penalty stroke shootout, 3-1. The Marauders (15-5) advance to Louisville, Ky. and the Final Four to face-off against top-seeded LIU Post on Nov 17 at 1 p.m. while Saint Anselm (17-3) sees its season come to a close. 

The Hawks controlled play through the first half, not allowing Millersville a single shot on goal while firing six shots at Millersville netminder Kylee Bair. The Marauders turned the tables in the second half, keeping Saint Anselm without a shot and taking three attempts, two of which were on goal and halted by Hawks goaltender Julia Hand

Each team had three total shots across both overtime periods as Bair was forced to make three stops. Hand turned aside the lone shot on goal she faced, but both teams headed to the penalty stroke shootout despite the Hawks earning seven of the game's 10 penalty corners against one of the nation's top defenses.

Kyra Brakefield opened the shootout's first round with a goal while the first two Hawks shooters were stymied by Bair. Annabelle Tierney followed a teammate's miss with a goal in the third round that was matched by Jackie Guillemette, elevating Millersville to a 2-1 lead. Aliza Mizak's fourth-round strike proved to be the game-winner as Saint Anselm's fourth shooter was unable to score on Bair.

Hand concluded a stellar freshman campaign with a 14-3 overall record, making three saves in the loss. Bair halted all seven shots on goal that she faced and made three saves on four attempts in the shootout, helping her squad to the next round of the NCAA Tournament.

Saint Anselm entered play on Saturday ranked fifth nationally, according to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. The Hawks set numerous program records in 2017, including collective point scoring (80-52=212), points per game (10.60), goals (80), goals per game (4.00), assists (52) and goals-against average (1.00).

The Hawks graduate five of the team's top-10 all-time point scorers and will see a total of eight student-athletes depart. The group racked up an outstanding 57-21 overall record since 2014 and helped Saint Anselm to its only two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2016 and 2017.