#5 Stonehill Opens Postseason Play Against #7 AIC

Stonehill Profile: Senior back Courtney Foley
Coach's Corner with Shelly Morris

Second-seeded Skyhawks seek fourth NE-10 Championship appearance

EASTON, Mass. (November 18, 2010) – Second-seeded Stonehill College, ranked fifth in this week's Kookaburra/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, opens postseason play with a Northeast-10 Conference semifinal round matchup with third-seeded and No. 7-ranked American International College at the University of Massachusetts Lowell's Cushing Field Complex on Friday at 3 p.m.

Admission for all NE-10 Tournament matches this weekend is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for senior citizens and children 12 and under, with students with valid ID admitted for $1.00. Live video and stats for Friday's semifinal round matches will be available via www.goriverhawks.com with links also set up through www.stonehillskyhawks.com. Saturday's championship game will be broadcast live free of charge via www.northeast10.tv through Pack Network.

Stonehill (14-5, 9-1 NE-10) and American International (14-6, 8-2 NE-10) will battle it out in the second semifinal of the afternoon, following top-seeded and No. 2-ranked UMass Lowell (20-0, 10-0 NE-10) and fourth-seeded Adelphi University (13-8, 6-4 NE-10) at 1 p.m. Friday's winners will square off for the NE-10 Championship on Saturday at 2 p.m. AIC reached the semifinal round with a 2-1 comeback win over sixth-seeded Franklin Pierce University in Tuesday's opening round, while Adelphi advanced with a 2-1 decision over fifth-seeded Southern Connecticut State University on Tuesday.

Stonehill enters the postseason winners of three-straight and 11 of 12 following a 3-1 victory at Assumption College to round out the regular season last Wednesday. The Skyhawks are making their 13th-straight NE-10 Tournament appearance and seek their fourth appearance in the championship match and second in a row. Stonehill shared the 205 NE-10 Tournament title with UMass Lowell and look to avenge last year's 2-1 loss to Bentley University in the final

Senior Courtney Foley, the NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year, leads the Skyhawks into tomorrow's NE-10 semifinal. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Stonehill is led by senior Courtney Foley (Wakefield, Mass./Wakefield Memorial), the NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year, who spearheads a defensive unit which ranks second in the NE-10 with a 1.40 team goals against average (5th nationally) and seven shutouts (2nd), while limiting opponents to just 9.3 shots per game, including 5.7 per game on goal. She also ranks second on the team with 19 points on a team-high matching seven assists (7th NE-10) and six goals, including three gamewinning markers (5th). She has also chipped in with one defensive save this fall. Classmate Laura Noce (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) and freshmen Kelsey Davis (Gardner, Mass./Gardner) and Gina Sheehan (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury), a pair of NE-10 All-Rookie team selections, have also played key roles on the defensive unit.

Junior Kathryn Nelson (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) and senior Lindsey Pinkham (Skowhegan, Maine/Skowhegan Area) lead the offensive attack for Stonehill. Nelson, a second team All-NE-10 selection this fall, leads Stonehill with 39 points (4th NE-10) and 18 goals (3rd) to go with three assists, scoring a Conference-high eight gamewinning goals. Nelson ranks fifth nationally in goals per game and seventh for points per game. Pinkham, a two-time All-Conference honoree with her first team selection this fall, is third on the team with 18 points on six goals and six assists (10th NE-10), netting one gamewinning goal this fall. She is also Stonehill's primary corner passer, with the Skyhawks leading the NE-10 with 12.26 penalty corners per game after leading all of Division II in 2009.

Freshman Devin Ingersoll (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry), the NE-10 Rookie of the Year, has chipped in with 11 points having scored three goals (one gamewinner) to go with five assists. Senior Lauren Gifford (Goffstown, N.H./Goffstown) shares the team lead with seven assists (7th) to go with a goal for nine points.

Senior Courtney Osier (South Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth) has played all but 33:23 in the Stonehill goal this season and has posted a 1.44 goals against average (3rd NE-10) and .750 save percentage (7th) with six shutouts (2nd) in 1,313:02.

Senior Lindsey Pinkham leads the offensive charge in midfield. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Junior forward Amanda McLean (Branford, Conn./Branford) led American International to Tuesday's opening round win by scoring once in each half to erase an early 1-0 deficit to Franklin Pierce. The Yellow Jackets, who are participating in the NE-10 tournament for the first time, have won seven-straight after Tuesday's victory in their postseason debut. They rank third in the NE-10 with a 1.60 team goals against average and are fourth in scoring at 2.33 goals per game.

McLean leads AIC with 18 goals (3rd NE-10) and five assists for 41 points (4th), netting six gamewinning goals (3rd). Senior Rhonwen Peters (Aquashicola, Pa./Palmerton) is next on the team with six goals and three assists for 15 points, while junior Linsey Fernandes (Ajax, Ontario/Notre Dame Catholic) shares the team lead with five assists.

Junior Kim Steiner (Little Falls, N.Y./Little Falls) has seen the majority of work in the cage for the Yellow Jackets and has posted a 1.54 GAA (4th NE-10) and .837 save percentage (2nd) with a shutout while averaging 7.84 saves per game (7th) in 1,319:14 played.

These two teams met just once during the regular season, to go with a preseason scrimmage, with Stonehill claiming a 2-0 decision over AIC in Easton, Mass., on October 13. Osier made three saves to post her third shutout of the season for the Skyhawks, while Pinkham and junior Laura Menke (Greenland, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) scored the goals. Steiner made six stops in the cage for the Yellow Jackets as Stonehill finished with a 12-7 edge in shots for the night.

Both teams are in solid position to earn NCAA Tournament bids when they are announced on Sunday, but tomorrow's game could have seeding implications. Stonehill has been ranked second in the NCAA Division II North Regional rankings since the first poll of the year last month, while American International was ranked third in this week's poll released on Wednesday.

2010 Northeast-10 Conference
Field Hockey Championship

First Round
Tuesday, November 16
#3 American International 2, #6 Franklin Pierce 1
#4 Adelphi 2, #5 Southern Connecticut State 1

Friday, November 19
hosted by UMass Lowell, Cushing Field Complex 
#4 Adelphi (13-8, 6-4 NE-10) at #1 UMass Lowell (20-0, 10-0 NE-10), 1 p.m.
#3 American International (14-6, 8-2 NE-10) vs. #2 Stonehill (14-5, 9-1 NE-10), 3 p.m.

Saturday, November 20
Hosted by UMass Lowell, Cushing Field Complex
Semifinals winners, 2 p.m.
Broadcast by www.northeast10.tv