Stonehill Tops First NCAA East Regional Ranking of the Season

Stonehill head coach Shelly Morris has the Skyhawks on the verge of a fifth NCAA Tournament appearance, the third in her six seasons in charge. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Skyhawks top NCAA Championships regional selection rankings for first time since 2009

EASTON, Mass. (October 24, 2013) – The Stonehill College field hockey team, off to a 15-0 start for the first time in program history, is ranked first in the inaugural East Regional rankings released by the NCAA Division II Championships selection committee on Wednesday.

Stonehill, ranked No. 3 in this week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, tops the NCAA East Regional rankings for the first time since it hosted the NCAA Championships in 2009. The rankings are those which will be used to determine NCAA Tournament selection in the coming weeks. Stonehill is followed by fellow Northeast-10 Conference member LIU Post (15-0, 8-0 NE-10) in the first regional rankings of the year – the only other undefeated team remaining in the Conference. Stonehill and LIU Post will square off in the final regular season contest of the year on Long Island on Saturday, November 2. Merrimack College (11-4, 7-1 NE-10) is ranked third in the East Region, while Bentley University (9-6, 3-4 NE-10) is ranked fourth.

Three teams from each of the two regions in Division II field hockey will earn bids to the NCAA Tournament that commences with first round action on Saturday, November 16, with a first round matchup between the No. 2 and 3 teams from the two regions. The top seeds from each region will earn a bye straight into the NCAA Championships in Virginia Beach, Va., November 22-24, and will face their region's first round winner in national semifinal.

Stonehill seeks its fifth NCAA Tournament bid in program history this fall and first since the 2010 season when the Skyhawks reached the national semifinals for the second-straight year at the Division II Fall Festival in Louisville, Ky. The Skyhawks are led by senior captains Emily Coholan (South Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth), Kelsey Davis (Gardner, Mass./Gardner) and Devin Ingersoll (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry). Davis, Ingersoll and classmates Gina Sheehan (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury), Chelsea Emery (New Hampton, N.H./Tilton School) and Kelly Gouveia (Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth) were freshmen on the 2010 National Semifinalist team.

Stonehill (15-0, 8-0 NE-10) is back in action on Sunday when it hosts Dowling College for a non-conference matchup on Senior Day at W.B. Mason Stadium at 1 p.m. The Skyhawks wrap up the regular season with matchups against the No. 2 and 3 teams in the East Region next week. Stonehill hosts Merrimack on Tuesday for its Purple & White Game at 7 p.m., before closing out the regular season at LIU Post next Saturday at noon. The NE-10 Tournament opens with first round play on Tuesday, November 5.

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