Stonehill Opens 14th NE-10 Tournament at Franklin Pierce

Coach's Corner with Shelly Morris

Senior All-American Kathryn Nelson leads the Skyhawks into postseason play for the 14th-straight year. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Sixth-seeded Skyhawks to face third-seeded Ravens in NE-10 first round on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

EASTON, Mass. (October 24, 2011) – Sixth-seeded Stonehill College will participate in the Northeast-10 Conference Field Hockey Championships for the 14th-straight year when it squares off with third-seeded Franklin Pierce University in first round action at Sodexo Field in Rindge, N.H., on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Admission for Wednesday's game is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for senior citizens and children and $1.00 for students. The winner of Wednesday's game will advance to Friday's semifinal round to be hosted by top-seeded and No. 4-ranked Merrimack College (16-1, 10-0 NE-10) where it will face second-seeded and No. 5-ranked University of Massachusetts Lowell (15-3, 9-1 NE-10) at Martone-Mejail Field in North Andover, Mass., at 4 p.m. The NE-10 Championship will also be hosted by Merrimack on Sunday at noon.

Wednesday's game will be webcast live with an audio stream courtesy of WFPC-LP 105.3 through, the Franklin Pierce athletics website, with links also available via

Freshman Jennifer Foley has made an immediate impact for the Skyhawks, scoring a team-high four gamewinners in her rookie season. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Stonehill (9-9, 4-6 NE-10) has reached the NE-10 Tournament for the 14th time in program history after sweating out Merrimack's 1-0 victory over Adelphi University on Sunday – the final day of the regular season. The Skyhawks have advanced to the semifinal round eight times and played in the last two NE-10 Championship games, falling to eventual National Champions UMass Lowell, 6-1, last fall.

Stonehill enters the postseason winners of four of its last six after Saturday's dramatic 2-1 win over Saint Michael's College, which was played with a postseason atmosphere as both teams had the opportunity to play their way into the NE-10 Tournament with a win. The Skyhawks rank seventh in the NE-10 for scoring with 1.8 goals per game this season to go with a 2.64 team goals against average with two shutouts. Stonehill is second in the Conference with 11.2 penalty corners per game.

Stonehill is led by senior All-American Kathryn Nelson (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury), who became the third player in program history to surpass 100 career points with her goal in Saturday's 2-1 win over Saint Michael's College. She leads the Skyhawks with 12 goals (8th NE-10) and five assists for 29 points (7th) in her final season. The captain ranks third all-time at Stonehill with 101 career points and 45 goals while also dishing 11 assists over her four years.

Freshman Jennifer Foley (Holden, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) has made an immediate contribution in her first collegiate season with eight goals, including a team-best four gamewinners (3rd), and four assists for 20 points. Sophomore Devin Ingersoll (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) has contributed three goals and two assists for eight points.

Junior Kaitlyn Curtis (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) and freshman Elizabeth Genovese (Street, Md./North Harford) have both seen action in the cage for Stonehill this season. Genovese has played 900:03 over 15 games (12 starts) and posted a 2.26 goals against average (7th) and .685 save percentage with a shutout while averaging 4.2 saves per game. Curtis has played 371:27 over eight games (six starts), including a two-save effort against Saint Michael's on Saturday, and posted a 3.58 GAA and .604 save percentage with a shutout while averaging 3.6 saves.

Sophomore Gina Sheehan quarterbacks the Skyhawks defensive unit. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Senior captains Laura Menke (Greenland, N.H./Saint Thomas Aquinas) and Lauren Colligan (Cazenovia, N.Y./Cazenovia Central) and sophomore Gina Sheehan (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) and Kelsey Davis (Gardner, Mass./Gardner) have all been key members of the Stonehill defense this season. Junior Jessica Laurendeau (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) leads the Skyhawks with four defensive saves (4th), while also dishing three assists.

Franklin Pierce (10-8, 7-3 NE-10) is making its second straight NE-10 Tournament appearance, and fifth overall, having rounded out the regular season with five-straight wins. The Ravens are hosting a postseason contest for the first time since its inaugural NE-10 Tournament appearance in 2000 when it fell to fifth-seeded Bryant University in a game played at The Winchendon School. The Ravens are seeking their first trip to the semifinals.

Franklin Pierce ranks fourth in the NE-10 with 2.3 goals per game, while ranking sixth with a 2.15 team goals against average. The Ravens also average 6.8 corners per game.

Senior Tia Levins (Manchester, Maine/Maranacook) leads Franklin Pierce with 36 points (6th NE-10) on a team-high 17 goals (3rd) and two assists. She leads the NE-10 with six gamewinning goals. Classmate Danielle Dolan (West Brookfield, Mass./Quaboag Regional) has contributed five goals and seven assists (9th) for 17 points, while senior Kim Jaksina (Townsend, Mass./North Middlesex) has posted four goals and six assists (10th) for 14 points as well as a Conference leading eight defensive saves. Junior Megan Bird (Laconia, N.H./Laconia) has dished a team-high eight assists (5th) to go with a goal for ten points.

Senior goaltender Brittany Nyzio (Attleboro, Mass./Worcester Academy) has played 1,012:18 over 16 games for Franklin Pierce and has posted a 1.94 goals against average (6th) and .754 save percentage (4th) with two shutouts, averaging 5.4 saves per contest.

Wednesday marks the 23rd meeting all-time between these two programs, the second in postseason play. Stonehill holds a 16-6 advantage in the all-time series, including a 2-1 overtime victory against Franklin Pierce in the opening round of the 2001 Tournament in Easton, Mass. However, the Ravens posted a 5-1 triumph last week in the lone regular season matchup between the two at Sodexo Field. Levins led Franklin Pierce with two goals and an assist for five points last Thursday, while Nelson scored the lone goal for the Skyhawks in the second half.

2011 Northeast-10 Conference
Field Hockey Championships

First Round
Wednesday, October 26 (at higher seeds)
#6 Stonehill (9-9, 4-6 NE-10) at #3 Franklin Pierce (10-8, 7-3 NE-10), 6 p.m.
#5 American International (11-7, 6-4 NE-10) at #4 Bentley (9-8, 6-4 NE-10), 7 p.m.

Friday, October 28
hosted by Merrimack College, North Andover, Mass.
Stonehill/Franklin Pierce winner vs. #2 UMass Lowell (15-3, 9-1 NE-10), 4 p.m.
AIC/Bentley winner at #1 Merrimack (16-1, 10-0 NE-10), 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 30
hosted by Merrimack College, North Andover, Mass.
Semifinal winners, noon
Bentley Defeats Stonehill, 2-0
September 17, 2011 Bentley Defeats Stonehill, 2-0
Stonehill Tops #9 Adelphi, 3-1
September 14, 2011 Stonehill Tops #9 Adelphi, 3-1