UTICA TAKES DEPAUW TO OT AT NCAA’S-PIONEER RUN FALLS SHORT 3-2
Depauw 3, Utica 2 – NCAA Field Hockey Final
MIDDLEBURY, Vermont – Chelsea Cutler scored 6:11 into the first overtime to lift DePauw to a 3-2 victory over Utica in Saturday’s NCAA second-round matchup at Middlebury College’s Kohn Field. The Tigers will face off against top-seeded Middlebury on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the regional final. DePauw improves to 20-1, while the Pioneers’ season comes to an end with a 15-6 record. 15 wins ties the school-record for wins in a single season for UC.
Early on, neither team was able to get much offense going as they recorded just five shots, all by DePauw, in the first half.
The second half was a much different game as a flurry of goals broke the scoreless tie. Grace Fisher got the scoring started for the Tigers as Maggie Campbell sent a pass across the circle and Fisher scored on the far post at a tough angle for the 1-0 lead.
The teams continued to battle back and forth as Cutler inserted a pass to Campbell who took a shot that Paige Henry redirected to tie it up for DePauw with just under 12 minutes remaining.
With no time remaining in regulation, the Tigers earned a penalty corner but Pioneer goalie Kells Casey came up with a big save on Margaret Ellis’ shot from the top to force the game to overtime.
Casey continued to play strong in goal, making three saves in the first 5:09 of the overtime. After earning a corner, Cutler inserted a pass to Ellis who sent it right back to Cutler on the far post for the game-winning goal, giving DePauw its first NCAA quarterfinal berth in program history.
Maggie Steele made five saves in goal for DePauw, while Casey finished with nine stops for Utica.
The Tigers outshot the Pioneers 20-7 and held a 15-4 advantage in penalty corners.
Utica 4, Endicott 1 – Field Hockey Final
Utica, NY (11/7/2012) – The Utica College field hockey team will advance to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in program-history after a convincing 4-1 victory over visiting Endicott College Wednesday night at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium.
After a scoreless first half of play, the Pioneers exploded for four consecutive goals in a span of less than 20 minutes in the second half to pull away from the Gulls. Sophomore sensations Hannah Mackey and Louise Steele-Norton each netted two goals to help the Pioneers advance their overall record to 15-5 on the year.
“It took us the first half to shake off the NCAA nerves and I was happy to see us come out and play like we are capable of in the second half,” said Head Coach Sarah Elleman. “It was a great experience to host an NCAA game and it was exciting to get another win in front of our home crowd. Endicott played us very tough, particularly in the first half. They have a very talented team.”
Utica, which tied the school-record for wins in a single-season set back in 2004, will now travel to Middlebury College on
Saturday to take on DePauw University (19-1) in second round action. The contest is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
Endicott (15-5), the Commonwealth Coast Conference Champions, received a late goal from the program’s all-time leading scorer Hannah Thornberg with just over six minutes left in the contest, but the comeback fell short as the Pioneers won by three.
The first half was a stalemate with the Pioneers earning an 8-6 shot advantage. The second half proved to be much different as Mackey got the home squad on the board 3:28 into stanza with her first of the evening off an assist from Steele-Norton.
Less than five minutes later Steele-Norton rebounded her first of the game and broke the Empire 8 Conference record for goals in a single season (25), to put the Pioneers in the driver’s seat, 2-0.
Mackey kept the pressure on in the 46th minute as she netted her 16th of the year, after an impressive dribbling display, driving the Pioneers’ third goal of the game into the back of the cage past EC netminder Taylor Teixeira from ten yards out. Steele-Norton wrapped up the Pioneers’ scoring effort, off an assist from junior Ally Sanders, when she tipped home her 26th of the year to put the Pioneers on top 4-0 in the 57th minute.
UC goalie Kells Casey stopped seven shots in the cage for UC, while Teixeira made nine saves for the Gulls. Endicott’s lone goal of the afternoon, from the stick of Thornberg, was assisted by Taylor Matties. Thornberg finished her senior campaign with 22 goals.
Utica earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Empire 8 Conference Championship on Sunday (4-3 win over Stevens). The Pioneers, who also advanced to the NCAA First Round in 2005, were hosting an NCAA Tournament contest for the first time in program-history.
Utica, NY (11/5/2012) – The Utica College field hockey team will host Endicott College (15-4) of the Commonwealth Coast Conference on Wednesday in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium. Game time is set for 4 p.m. The NCAA announced the field of 24 shortly after 12 a.m. Monday morning.
The Pioneers (14-5) advanced to their second NCAA Tournament in program-history after defeating Stevens Institute of Technology in the Empire 8 Conference Championship, 4-3, Sunday afternoon. Endicott (located in Mass.) is making its second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament after defeating Nichols 2-1 (OT) in the Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship Sunday.
Sixteen teams will compete in eight first-round games on Wednesday. The eight first-round winners, along with the eight teams that received a first-round bye, will compete at four campus sites during second/third-round play, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10 and 11.
If Utica gets past Endicott it will travel to Middlebury College on Saturday to square off against DePauw University (19-1), which received a first round bye. Middlebury, the No. 1 team in the country according to the most recent NFHCA National Poll, will host second and third round play int he Pioneers portion of the bracket.
Did You Know? Utica topped both Rochester (N.Y.) and Skidmore earlier this year … Rochester and Skidmore both earned at-large bids into the NCAA Tournament.
PIONEERS ARE GOING DANCING-UC SECURES NCAA BID AFTER E8 CROWN
Utica 4, Stevens 3 – Field Hockey Final
Utica, NY (11/4/2012) – The Utica College field hockey team secured a bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the second time in program-history on Saturday by defeating top-seeded Stevens Institute of Technology, 4-3, in the Empire 8 Conference Tournament Championship game at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium. Sophomore Louise Steele-Norton scored the game-winner on a breakaway with 4:45 left in the contest, off an assist from Nikki Kieffer, to help the Pioneers (14-6) earn the thrilling one goal victory. The NCAA Division III selections, seeding and pairings will come out on late Sunday night and the first round of the Division III tournament will begin on Wednesday.
Utica has won three of the last four meetings against Stevens and the Pioneers will be appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. Steele-Norton, who broke the College’s single-season scoring record earlier this year, also tied the Empire 8 Conference record for goals in a single-season which was originally set back in 2004 by Hartwick’s Kelly Cooman. Sophomore midfielder Alaina Stojkovski was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after totaling a team-best five points on three assists and one goal over the course of the Pioneers’ two tournament victories.
“This is an incredible win for everyone involved with our program here at Utica College. I had a good feeling coming into this weekend considering how well we were playing down the stretch and I was very pleased to see that our expectations were met. I’m very proud of this group of girls,” said fourth-year Head Coach Sarah Elleman. “We don’t want to stop here. We are going to enjoy this win and get right back to it as we prepare for the NCAA Tournament this coming week.”
Before the Ducks could blink, they were staring at a 2-0 hole and a ton of momentum for the second-seeded hosts. Utica’s Ally Sanders controlled a loose ball at the top-right of the circle, took a shot and it was deflected up and over Stevens goalie Kaitlin McClymont 2:59 into the game to give the Pioneers an early 1-0 lead. Then, just 2:02 later, sophomore Hannah Mackey tallied on a rebound to give the Pioneers a 2-0 lead with 29:59 left in the first half. Mackey finished the day with two goals on her way to earning All-Tournament team accolades.
Stevens (13-7) weathered the storm and quickly countered Utica’s fast start with one its own. In the ninth minute, the Ducks scored directly off a penalty corner when junior forward Marguerite Chavez inserted out to junior Megan Traub. Traub touched once to control and blasted a perfect shot in the lower left corner to make it a one-goal game. The early equalizer came 3:30 later when sophomore midfielder Jillian Fiebel battled for a rebound in front after a shot from Chavez. The second-year player controlled and took one shot that was blocked before netting her third goal in two days to make it a 2-2 game with 23:06 left in the first half.
The Pioneers regained the advantage 3:40 into the second period when Mackey angled into the circle from the left side, going all the way to the right and connecting on a perfect backhanded shot into the lower-left corner for her 14th goal of the season.
Stevens tied things up in the 51st minute when Traub converted a penalty stroke. The play began on a penalty corner with Traub taking a shot that was blocked. Fiebel made several attempts on rebounds and the final one was blocked by a Utica player but a penalty was called because the Pioneer that made the play used her body to prevent the ball from going in. A stroke ensued and Traub did the rest, getting her ninth of goal of the season.
Despite battling pressure in their own zone through much of the second half, the Pioneers came back and took the lead for good, countering a Stevens attack with the game-winner. Sophomore back Nikki Kieffer found Steele-Norton with a long pass into the left side of the circle. Steele-Norton chased it down and put her shot in the lower-right corner for her conference-record-tying 24th goal of the season.
Stevens ended with a 15-10 margin in shots and a 13-5 edge in penalty corners. Utica freshman keeper Kells Casey finished the day with eight saves in the cage for the Pioneers, while Stevens’ goalie Kaitlin McClymont stopped two shots.
The game was played at second-seeded Utica because regular-season champ Stevens was unable to host due to Hurricane Sandy.
(Portions of release courtesy of Rob Kulish – Stevens Institute of Technology)
2012 Empire 8 Field Hockey Championship All-Tournament Team
Tournament MVP – Alaina Stojkovski – Soph. – M – Liverpool, N.Y.
Hannah Mackey – Utica College – Soph. – F – Locke, N.Y.
Meghan Morreale – Utica College – Jr. – B – Marcy, N.Y.
Louise Steele-Norton – Utica College – Soph. – F – Avondale, Pa.
Jennifer Marabella – Washington & Jefferson College – Sr. – F – Sinking Spring, Pa.
Elizabeth Herb – Washington & Jefferson College – Sr. – M/D – Pittsburg, Pa.
Caitlin Allen – St. John Fisher College – Soph. – M – Rochester, N.Y.
Stacie Skidmore – St. John Fisher College – Soph. – F/M – Rome, N.Y.
Marguerite Chavez – Stevens Institute of Technology – Jr. – F – Oceanport, N.J.
Megan Traub – Stevens Institute of Technology – Jr – B – Berkeley Heights, N.J.
Jillian Fiebel – Stevens Institute of Technology – Soph. – F/M – Roxbury, N.J.