Sophomore back Kelsey Davis was a key player on the offensive and defensive end, posting a goal and assists while the Skyhawks posted the shutout win. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Nelson, Davis lead Skyhawks to fourth-straight NE-10 semifinal
Stonehill (10-9, 4-6 NE-10), participating in its 14th-straight NE-10 Tournament, advances to the semifinal round for the fourth straight season where it will face second-seeded University of Massachusetts Lowell (15-3, 9-1 NE-10), ranked fifth in this week's National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, on Friday at Martone-Mejail Field on the campus of Merrimack College at 4 p.m. The top-seeded and No. 4-ranked Warriors (16-1, 10-0 NE-10) will host fifth-seeded American International College (11-7, 6-4 NE-10) for Friday's other semifinal at 7 p.m. The 9th-ranked Yellow Jackets topped fourth-seeded and No. 10 Bentley University, 3-2, in overtime in tonight's other NE-10 first round matchup.
Franklin Pierce (10-9, 7-3 NE-10), making its fifth NE-10 Tournament appearance and second-straight, are still seeking its first postseason win after earning its highest seeding for the NE-10 Tournament. The Ravens conclude their second winning season in program history – the first since 2000.
Junior Kaitlyn Curtis posted two saves in notching her second shutout of the season. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Sophomore back Kelsey Davis (Gardner, Mass./Gardner), playing 20 minutes from her hometown, led Stonehill with a goal and assist while keying a defensive unit which limited Franklin Pierce to just eight shots (two on goal) and three penalty corners. Senior All-American Kathryn Nelson (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) dished two assists, while junior Chelsea Fizell (Cotuit, Mass./The Berkshire School) and sophomore Devin Ingersoll (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) each chipped in with goals.
Junior Kaitlyn Curtis (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) was the beneficiary of Stonehill's strong defensive performance, needing to make just two saves to preserve her second shutout of the year. The Skyhawks posted a 12-8 edge in shots for the game and registered a 16-3 advantage for penalty corners. Senior Brittany Nyzio (Attleboro, Mass./Worcester Academy) also finished with two saves in the Franklin Pierce cage.
Fizell opened the scoring for Stonehill with 12:52 left in the first half as she tipped in a shot from the top of the circle by Nelson for her fourth goal of the season (second gamewinner). Ingersoll doubled the Skyhawks lead 9:11 into the second half with a drive from the left side off a corner pass from Davis for her third marker of the year. Davis then iced the win with her second goal of the season with 7:17 left in regulation when she knocked in a pass from Nelson at the left side.
Nelson, who now leads Stonehill with seven assists this season, has totaled 103 career points on 45 goals and 13 assists in 81 games played. Stonehill will be seeking a third-straight appearance in the NE-10 Championship game when it battles UMass Lowell on Friday. The River Hawks earned a first round bye in the tournament and is seeking a second-straight NE-10 title this weekend and sixth championship overall.