MANCHESTER, N.H. – After recording a shutout victory to open postseason play on Tuesday, the nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College field hockey team will appear in the Northeast-10 Conference Semifinals on Friday, hosting Assumption College at 4 p.m. on the Hilltop.
Making the team's fifth consecutive NE10 postseason appearance in 2019, Saint Anselm earned the top seed in the eight-team tournament, winning the squad's third NE10 Regular Season Championship in the past four years.
Saint Anselm moved to 17-2 with a 2-0 victory over Franklin Pierce on Tuesday in the NE10 Quarterfinals. After logging a 13-1 mark against league foes during the regular season, the Hawks continued to dominate defensively in the playoffs by recording their 17th shutout of 2019. Only one goal has been scored by an NE10 opponent versus the Hawks this season.
Against Franklin Pierce, senior Michelle Lemelin (Windham, Maine) put Saint Anselm ahead by a 1-0 score in the game's 24th minute. Freshman Avery Tucker (Westbrook, Maine) rounded out the scoring in the fourth quarter, putting the Ravens away with her first career goal off a penalty stroke. Saint Anselm enjoyed a 19-0 advantage in shots, holding its third opponent of 2019 without a shot against.
Assumption comes to Manchester as one of the strongest teams in NCAA Division II. Earlier in the 2019 season, the Greyhounds handed the Hawks their only NE10 defeat of 2019, winning by a 1-0 margin off a late goal after a penalty stroke. Fifth-seeded Assumption opened its 2019 season with an 11-1 record before its second loss and downed the higher-seeded Skyhawks from Stonehill College on Tuesday, 1-0, to advance in postseason play.
Per NE10 regulations, admission will be charged for all postseason games. Tickets for adults will cost $6.00 with children and senior citizens (65+) priced at $4.00. Students will be charged $1.00 with the presentation of valid identification from an NE10-member institution. Saint Anselm students will be admitted to the contest free of charge, compliments of Saint Anselm Athletics.
A victory by either team on Friday means a spot in the NE10 Championship on Sunday, Nov. 10. Should Saint Anselm win, it would host the contest as the top seed in the 2019 postseason.
Three teams from each of the two NCAA Division II regions, East and Atlantic, will qualify for the NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championship that begins on Saturday, Nov. 16 with First Round action. The remaining four teams will compete for a national title starting on Friday, Nov. 22 at Millersville University.
SCOUTING SAINT ANSELM
- Saint Anselm moved up one spot to third in the latest National Field Hockey Coaches Association rankings, matching its all-time high. The Hawks were ranked as high as third earlier this season to equal a program record originally accomplished in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
- After ranking second in the first iteration of the NCAA Division II East Region official rankings, Saint Anselm found itself ranked atop the East Region in the latest edition revealed earlier this week. The Hawks traded places with former No. 1-ranked Adelphi, who had lost two out of three entering the second week of the rankings.
- Senior Anna Drakeley (Woodbury, Conn.) was named the NE10 Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday with junior Julia Hand (Reading, Mass.) earning NE10 Goalkeeper of the Year merits. Head Coach Carolyn King-Robitaille was also named the NE10 Coach of the Year for the third time in her career.
- Drakeley, Hand and senior Hannah Friend (North Easton, Mass.) earned placement on the First Team All-Conference list with senior Kaeleigh Lord (Keene, N.H.) and sophomore Carly LaCasse (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) locking down Second Team All-NE10 honors. Freshman Maeve Murphy (Scituate, Mass.) picked up a spot on the conference's All-Rookie Team.
- The Hawks have conceded only four goals all season, outscoring their opponents by a 63-to-4 margin. Against NE10 opponents, Saint Anselm has allowed only one goal and that was to Assumption in the Greyhounds' 1-0 victory in Worcester – in that contest, the hosts went ahead with a goal off of a penalty corner with 1:39 to go in regulation time.
- Since the start of the 2015 season, the Hawks have compiled an overall record of 81-21 (.794). When playing at Grappone Stadium, Saint Anselm has lost only six out of a possible 54 games during that span (.900).
- King-Robitaille, in her eighth season at the helm of the program, earned the prestigious National Coach Award, presented by USA Field Hockey, on Mar. 17, 2018.
- Prior to King-Robitaille's hiring at Saint Anselm, the Hawks were a combined 49-139 (.261) since the team's debut as a varsity offering in 2001. She won her 100th career game to cap the regular season with a 6-0 blanking of Saint Thomas Aquinas on Saturday. Her all-time win/loss record on the Hilltop is 101-53 (.656).
- Saint Anselm leads all of NCAA Division II in team goals-against average (0.21), save percentage (0.875) and shutouts per game (0.89). The team's winning percentage (0.895) and scoring margin (3.11) are second nationally and the Hawks number of assists per game (2.05) and scoring average (3.32) rank third in the country.
- With Tuesday's win over Franklin Pierce, the Hawks matched the all-time record of 17 victories in one season set by the program in 2016 and 2017. The 17 shutouts in 2019 are more double the previous team record of eight, accomplished in the two aforementioned seasons.
- Since the start of the 2016 season, the Hawks have had three student-athletes earn Defensive Player of the Year honors from the NE10 (Elizabeth Alie '17, Erin Collins '18, Anna Drakeley '19). After missing the entire 2018 season due to injury, Drakeley has guided a defensive unit that has conceded only four goals all season and allowed only 32 opposing shots on net.
- Drakeley has won Defensive Player of the Week awards on four occasions from three organizations (2x Northeast-10, NFHCA, Synapse Sports). Lord became a two-time winner of NE10 Defensive Player of the Week honors earlier this week and was named Synapse Sports Defensive Player of the Week this past Tuesday.
- Hand owns a goals-against average of 0.19 and a save percentage of 0.875, leading all of NCAA Division II and the Northeast-10 Conference in both statistics. In 55 games played for Saint Anselm, Hand owns a 43-12 record (.782) and has logged 20 shutouts which stands as a program record.
- Friend notched two goals and an assist for five points (2-1=5) against Saint Thomas Aquinas on Saturday, becoming the first student-athlete in team history to reach 100 career points. She is the program's all-time career leader in points per game (1.22), goals (37), assists (27) and assists per game (0.33).
- Friend ranks third in the NE10 and eighth in NCAA Division II with 0.47 assists per game as a senior. Her 1.53 points per game in 2019 stands as the seventh-best mark in the NE10 and her 0.53 goals per game is 12th in the league.
- Friend has seen action in 83 career games for the Hawks, setting the program record for appearances which was originally set and held by Brooke Haskell '19 with 82.
- LaCasse is eighth in the NE10 with 0.63 goals per game and ninth in the league with 1.47 points per contest. She is in the midst of a career season, scoring 12 goals, six of the game-winning variety, and four assists for 28 points (12-4=28) across 19 games played. For her career, she has 20 goals in 41 career games and is averaging north of a point per game.
- LaCasse's six game-winning goals in 2019 are the most in a single season by any Hawks student-athlete. She has already cracked the program's top-10 list for career scoring, doing so in only her sophomore season. She is tied for ninth all-time with 46 career points (20-6=46), equaling Colleen Sears '16 and her totals of 19 goals and eight assists (19-8=46).
- Lemelin has scored a career-high nine goals and four assists for 22 points (9-4=22). She ranks sixth all-time with 57 points, needing only one more to match Allia Connolly '18 for fifth all-time.
- Junior Ericka Meissner (Falmouth, Mass.) and senior Mary Nee (Canton, Mass.) have each logged career seasons for the Hawks. Meissner has posted eight goals and four assists for 20 points (8-4=20) to date and Nee has scored five goals with as many assists for 15 points (5-5=15). Three of Nee's five 2019 goals have been game-winning strikes.
- Murphy has seen action in all 19 games as a freshman, making her collegiate debut at Franklin Pierce on Sept. 5. She logged her first collegiate goal at New Haven on Sept. 28 and added markers against Southern Conn. St. and St. Thomas Aquinas. Murphy is the fifth student-athlete in the last three seasons from Saint Anselm to earn placement on the league's All-Rookie roster.
- Drakeley, Friend and Lord will represent Saint Anselm at the NFHCA Division II Senior Game. In total, 17 student-athletes from Saint Anselm since 2004 have been named to the roster as either a starter or an alternate – Maddie Bressler '19 and Brooke Haskell '19 were participants last year.
- Offensively, Saint Anselm is generating 8.68 points per game, trailing only the 2017 Hawks figure of 10.60 per contest.
- Head Coach Annie Lahey, a 2002 graduate of Holy Cross, is in the midst of her ninth season at the helm of the Greyhounds field hockey program. After logging a 1-14 record in her first season, she has steadily improved the program's fortunes, culminating in six consecutive 10-plus win seasons since the start of the 2014 campaign.
- Assumption has played to a 16-3 overall record and an 11-3 mark against NE10 teams. Logging a 9-0 record at home, the Greyhounds have lost all three of their games on the road. The Hounds lost to Stonehill in double-overtime on Sept. 17 before stumbling at Adelphi on Oct. 12. The team's most recent loss came to nationally-ranked Southern New Hampshire on Oct. 26.
- The Greyhounds rank second in NCAA Division II in scoring average (3.33), penalty corners per game (11.16) and goals per game (3.37). The squad ranks third in points per game (8.68), scoring margin (2.70) and shutouts per game (0.63) while logging the nation's fourth-best goals-against average (0.62), save percentage (0.821) and winning percentage (0.842).
- Backstop Kylie Gargiulo has recorded an 0.57 goals-against average, trailing only Hand from Saint Anselm among the NE10 leaders. She ranks fourth on a national scale in that statistic while posting the country's third-best save percentage (0.839) and an average of 2.94 saves per game.
- Assumption had four All-Conference selections from the NE10 on Wednesday, including the conference's leader in goals per game (0.79), Deirdre Burchill. She has notched 15 goals and five assists for 35 points this season and earned First Team honors after a Second Team award last season.
ALL-TIME, NE10 TOURNAMENT
- The Hawks are making their sixth appearance in the NE10 postseason. Saint Anselm is 5-5 in the conference postseason in team history.
- In 2018, the Hawks powered past Southern N.H. in the NE10 Quarterfinals (W, 4-2, Nov. 13, 2019) before downing Assumption by a 3-2 score on Nov. 16. In the NE10 Championship game, Saint Anselm fell to No. 5-ranked Merrimack by a 2-1 score on a penalty corner goal with regulation time expired.
- The Hawks have entered the postseason as the Regular Season Champions in three out of the last four years. The most recent regular season champion to win the conference tournament championship was LIU Post in 2013.
- Saint Anselm finished as the NE10 Tournament runner-up in 2016, falling to LIU Post by a 2-1 margin in overtime.
- Like Saint Anselm, Assumption has never won an NE10 Championship, finishing as the runner-up in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2015. The Greyhounds own an 11-11 mark (.500) in all-time NE10 postseason play.
ALL-TIME vs. ASSUMPTION
- Not unlike the Hawks first opponent, Franklin Pierce, the Greyhounds and Saint Anselm have split the all-time series right down the middle. Since the very first game played in 2001, each team has won 15 games.
- After the Hawks had won six consecutive games from Sept. 8, 2016 through last season's NE10 postseason game on Nov. 16, 2018, the eighth-ranked Greyhounds downed Saint Anselm earlier this season by a 1-0 margin.
- Saint Anselm lost eight of the first nine meetings between the teams before locking down eight wins in 11 games from Sept. 26, 2006 through Sept. 29, 2012.
- In overtime games against Assumption, the Hawks are 1-4 all-time.