No. 3 field hockey gets past East Stroudsburg in NCAA Semifinals

No. 3 field hockey gets past East Stroudsburg in NCAA Semifinals

MILLERSVILLE, Pa. – Junior Emily Bevens (Pelham, N.H.) of the Saint Anselm College field hockey team buried a penalty stroke goal in the second overtime period, lifting the third-ranked Hawks to a 1-0 victory over No. 2 East Stroudsburg in the NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championship semifinals.

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Saint Anselm, ranked third in the nation by the NFHCA, moves to 20-2 on the season, winning its 20th game via shutout in 2019. For the first time in program history, the Hawks will play for a National Championship, doing so on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 1 p.m. on the campus of Millersville University. The Hawks will battle West Chester, the No. 1 team in NCAA Division II, in search of Saint Anselm's first national title in any sport.

More information about Sunday's national title bout will be posted on on Saturday.

With both teams failing to score through 60 minutes of regulation and 10 minutes of the first overtime period, senior Hannah Friend (North Easton, Mass.) fired a shot on the goal that was kept out with a defensive save by East Stroudsburg. The ensuing rebound spilled out to the goal mouth before play was whistled down for a defensive infraction, awarding the Hawks a penalty stroke.

The Hawks, who came into the NCAA Semifinals converting only one of their five chances on penalty strokes all season, turned to Bevens. The junior converted with a shot on the left side of the goal, beating East Stroudsburg's Maddie Richie for her first goal since Oct. 7, 2017 against New Haven.

Bevens' goal was her team's fifth shot of the overtime period, a dramatic change from only two shots fired by Saint Anselm through regulation time. The Warriors took seven shots in four periods of regulation time, but it was all Saint Anselm in the overtime stanzas.

The Hawks had a tremendous scoring opportunity in the game's opening minutes as sophomore Carly LaCasse (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) saw her shot cut down by Richie, sprinting out of the goal mouth to eliminate the chance. Saint Anselm had only one official shot on net in the game's first 30 minutes as both teams carried a 0-0 score into halftime.

East Stroudsburg fired four shots in the second half alone, forcing Hawks backstop Julia Hand (Reading, Mass.) to make several saves to keep her squad in the game. No save proved to be larger than her final one of the contest.

Following a Hawks offensive foul deep in the East Stroudsburg zone late in regulation time, the Warriors carried the ball up to field and directly to goal. Maddie Kline had a point-blank shot attempt that was deflected aside by Hand, preserving the 0-0 score.

Hand finished with three saves, earning her 14th shutout of the season along with the 23rd of her career. Richie drew the loss, yielding the penalty stroke goal while matching Hand with three stops. Hannah Barbush had the defensive save for East Stroudsburg.