MANCHESTER, N.H. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College field hockey team will be heading to the Northeast-10 Conference Championship thanks to a 3-2 victory in the NE10 Semifinals over visiting Assumption College on Friday at Grappone Stadium.
The Hawks, ranked 10th in NCAA Division II by the National Field Hockey Coaches' Association, have won nine-straight games to improve to 15-5 on the season after recording a 10-3 mark against NE10 opponents during the regular season. Assumption, the eighth seed in the tournament, falls to 11-8 overall.
Saint Anselm will take on the fifth-ranked Warriors from Merrimack College on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. in North Andover, Mass. The Hawks, making their second-ever trip to the league's championship fixture, were downed by LIU Post in the 2016 championship in overtime. Saint Anselm issued Merrimack a 4-2 loss on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
A comprehensive game preview will be posted on SaintAnselmHawks.com in the coming days.
Senior Maddie Bressler (Franklin, Mass.) put the Hawks ahead by a 1-0 margin only 7:08 into the contest, poking a long right-to-left cross by junior Michelle Lemelin (Chelsea, Maine) home to create the early advantage. Assumption's Deirdre Burchill would answer just over seven minutes later, tying the game at one.
Sophomore Hannah Potter (Harwichport, Mass.) put her team ahead for good only 15:48 into the contest. Junior Kaleigh Lord (Keene, N.H.) sent a long pass from the top of the arc where it was tipped by freshman Carly LaCasse (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) over toward the left post. The well-positioned Potter was able to score on the backdoor play to create a 2-1 advantage.
The Saint Anselm lead grew to 3-1 thanks to junior Hannah Friend (North Easton, Mass.) as another hard ball toward goal by Lord was knocked down in front by Sarah Bodzinski, the Assumption netminder. The rebound spilled out to an unopposed Friend, who swung the ball into the vacant net.
Assumption responded only 1:04 later with an unassisted marker from Shannon Quinlan, who fired the ball past Hawks netminder Julia Hand (Reading, Mass.) after a Saint Anselm defender deflected the ball forward to the unmarked Quinlan.
Despite a five-goal first half, only four shots were fired in the second half and only one penalty corner was awarded to both teams. The Hawks held the 11-to-5 edge in shots taken and were awarded five of the game's seven penalty corners, including four in the first half alone.
Hand moves to 13-5 on the year in goal for Saint Anselm. Bodzinski falls to 12-8 on the year, yielding three goals on nine shots.