Stonehill to Battle #5 UMass Lowell for NE-10 Championship Berth

Kelsey Davis and Shelly Morris Interviews

Senior All-American Kathryn Nelson dished two assists in the first round win over Franklin Pierce and leads the Skyhawks into the semifinals for the fourth-straight year. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Sixth-seeded Skyhawks and second-seeded River Hawks meet in NE-10 semifinal, hosted by Merrimack on Friday at 4 p.m.

EASTON, Mass. (October 27, 2011) – Sixth-seeded Stonehill College has advanced to the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament semifinal round for the fourth straight year and will square off against second-seeded University of Massachusetts Lowell, ranked fifth in this week's National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, on Friday at 4 p.m. The NE-10 semifinal and championships rounds will be hosted by top-seeded Merrimack College on Friday and Sunday.

Admission for this weekend's games at Martone-Mejail Field is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for senior citizens and children and $1.00 for students. Host Merrimack (16-1, 10-0 NE-10), ranked fourth nationally, will host fifth-seeded and No. 9-ranked American International College (12-7, 6-4 NE-10) in tomorrow's other semifinal at 7 p.m. The Yellow Jackets advanced with a 3-2 overtime victory at fourth-seeded and No. 10-ranked Bentley University last night.

Sophomore Kelsey Davis had a goal and assist at Franklin Pierce on Wednesday night and will spearhead the Skyhawks defense against the NE-10's top offense on Friday. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Stonehill (10-9, 4-6 NE-10), participating in the NE-10 Tournament for the 14th time in program history, advanced to the NE-10 semifinals for the fourth-straight year and ninth time overall with a 3-0 triumph at third-seeded Franklin Pierce University last night. Sophomore back Kelsey Davis (Gardner, Mass./Gardner) led the way with a goal and assist, while keying a Skyhawks defense that limited the Ravens to just eight shots – two on goal. Senior All-American Kathryn Nelson (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) contributed a pair of assists, while junior Kaitlyn Curtis (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) made two saves to preserve her second shutout of the season.

Stonehill, seeking its third-straight trip to the NE-10 Championship game and fifth overall, enters tomorrow's game winners of two-straight and five of its last seven. The Skyhawks rank seventh in the NE-10 for scoring with 1.89 goals per game and a 2.53 team goals against average this season with three shutouts. Stonehill is second in the Conference with 11.4 penalty corners per game.

Nelson, who became the third player in program history to surpass 100 career points with a goal against Saint Michael's College last weekend, leads the Skyhawks with 12 goals (8th NE-10) and seven assists (8th) for 31 points (7th) in her final season. The captain ranks third all-time at Stonehill with 103 career points and 45 goals while also dishing 13 assists over her four years.

Freshman Jennifer Foley (Holden, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) has made an immediate contribution in her first collegiate season with nine goals, including a team-best four gamewinners (3rd), and four assists for 22 points. Sophomore Devin Ingersoll (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) has contributed three goals and three assists for nine points.

Sophomore Devin Ingersoll had a goal and assist in the regular season meeting for Stonehill at UMass Lowell (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Curtis 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 441:27 over nine games (seven starts), including the last two starts, and posted a 3.01 GAA and .620 save percentage with two shutouts while averaging 3.4 saves.

Davis, 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) 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.

UMass Lowell (15-3, 9-1 NE-10), the defending NE-10 Tournament champions and winners of six titles overall, earned a first round bye and enter the postseason winners of two straight and four of five after a 4-0 win over American International last Saturday. The River Hawks are the top scoring team in the NE-10 with 4.39 goals per game, while ranking second with a 1.13 team goals against average. They also lead the NE-10 with 11.9 penalty corners per contest.

Sophomore Rachel McCarthy (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) leads the Northeast-10 with 19 goals, including four gamewinners (3rd), and 11 assists for 49 points. Sophomore Ali Ferraro (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) has posted 15 goals (5th) and ten assists (2nd) for 40 points (4th), while classmate Melissa Effertz (Oceanside, Calif./Rancho Buena Vista) has contributed ten goals (10th), including four gamewinners (3rd), and four assists for 24 points (11th).

Sophomore Melanie Hopkins (Harwich, Mass./Harwich) has played all 1,296:22 (2nd) in the UML goal and has posted a 1.13 goals against average (2nd) and .731 save percentage (5th) with six shutouts, while averaging 3.2 saves per game.

UMass Lowell posted a 4-2 victory in the lone meeting between these two teams this season in Lowell on September 20. McCarthy led UMass Lowell with two goals and an assist for a five point night, while senior Annie Hansbury (Plaistow, N.H./Timberlane Regional) dished two assists. Ingersoll led Stonehill with a goal and assist, while Nelson chipped in with a goal.

These two teams met twice in the postseason last fall with the River Hawks rolling to a 6-1 win in the NE-10 Championship and then topping Stonehill 5-1 in the NCAA Division II National Semifinals.

2011 Northeast-10 Conference
Field Hockey Championships 

First Round
Wednesday, October 26 (at higher seeds)
#6 Stonehill 3, #3 Franklin Pierce 0
#5 American International 3, #4 Bentley 2 (OT)

Friday, October 28
hosted by Merrimack College, North Andover, Mass.
#6 Stonehill (10-9, 4-6 NE-10) vs. #2 UMass Lowell (15-3, 9-1 NE-10), 4 p.m.
#5 American International (12-7, 6-4 NE-10) 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