NE-10 FIRST ROUND: #5 Stonehill Strikes Early to Top Southern Connecticut State, 5-0

Sophomore Erika Kelly posted five points with two goals and an assist to help lead the Skyhawks past Southern. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Kelly posts five points, Gouveia nets pair while Genovese stops six shots to lead third-seeded Skyhawks to tenth NE-10 Semifinal appearance

EASTON, Mass. (November 5, 2013) – Third-seeded Stonehill College, ranked fifth in this week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, scored all five goals in the first half and cruised to a 5-0 triumph over sixth-seeded Southern Connecticut State University in first round action of the 2013 Northeast-10 Conference Tournament at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight.

Stonehill (17-2, 8-2 NE-10) advances to Friday's semifinal round and will visit second-seeded and 7th-ranked Merrimack College (13-4, 9-1 NE-10) in North Andover, Mass., at 4 p.m. The Warriors earned a first round by in the tournament after posting a 1-0 victory at Stonehill last week. The Skyhawks will be making their fifth semifinal appearance in the last six year and tenth overall on Friday. Southern Connecticut State sees its season come to a close with a 5-14 record overall, including 4-6 in the Northeast-10 to make its eight NE-10 Tournament appearance.

Sophomore Erika Kelly (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) posted five points to lead Stonehill to the win with two goals and an assist. Her program and NE-10 record 34 goals this season are six shy of the NCAA Division II record of 40 set by Jamie Vanartsdalen from Bloomsburg (Pa.) University in 2008. Kelly's program's record 70 points rank second in the NE-10 and nationally and is the third-highest single-season total in NE-10 history.

Senior Kelly Gouveia (Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth) got Stonehill rolling with a pair of goals, while junior All-American Emily Sideris (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) added a goal and assist for the Skyhawks. Senior All-American Devin Ingersoll (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry), classmate Kelsey Davis (Gardner, Mass./Gardner) and sophomore Lauren Giordano (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) all chipped in with assists.

Junior Elizabeth Genovese made six saves in over 61 scoreless minutes in the Stonehill goal. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Junior Elizabeth Genovese (Street, Md./North Harford) posted six saves in 61:21 of scoreless work in the Stonehill cage. Freshman Dana Dhami (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) made one save over the final 8:39 to close out the Skyhawks third shutout of the season. Stonehill finished with a 26-10 advantage for shots, including 19-3 in the first half, and held a 4-3 edge in penalty corners. Sophomore Audrey Dolloff (Raynham, Mass./Bridgewater-Raynham) finished with ten saves in the Southern Connecticut State goal.

Gouveia struck twice within a 26-second span to give Stonehill a two goal lead just 6:10 into the contest. She opened the scoring at 5:44 when she tapped in a pass from the left side by Sideris at the right post. Gouveia followed that up with her tenth goal of the season when she pounced on a rebound off a shot by sophomore Elizabeth Thornton (Needham, Mass./Needham) at 6:10.

Sideris added her seventh goal of the year, and third in the last two games, less than seven minutes later off a Southern Connecticut State turnover. Kelly sent a pass from the right side to Sideris in the center of the scoring area for a drive past Dolloff at 13:07.

Kelly rounded out the scoring with two goals less than a minute apart as Stonehill scored its entire goal total in the opening 20:25. Her first goal came with a drive from the upper left corner of the arc off a pass from the top by Ingersoll on a Davis penalty corner at 19:36. Kelly struck again just 49-seconds later with her 34th goal of the year off a pass from the right side by Giordano that she flicked into the upper left corner of the cage at 20:25.

Southern had an early rush in the second half to get back into the game, but Stonehill's defense was up to the challenge. Davis was positioned well on the right post to clear a shot by Southern freshman Jamie Matson (East Hartland, Conn./Simsbury) 1:30 into the half, while Genovese followed that up with a save on a shot by freshman Kristi Montemurro (New Milford, Conn./New Milford) two minutes later.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market.

Highlights and Postgame Interviews