#5 Stonehill and #7 Merrimack Set to Clash in NE-10 Semifinals

Sophomore Erika Kelly leads Division II with a program and NE-10 record 34 goals this season. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

3rd-seeded Skyhawks visit 2nd-seeded Warriors Friday for Championship bid 

EASTON, Mass. (November 7, 2013) – Third-seeded Stonehill College, ranked fifth in this week's week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll and second in the NCAA Division II North Regional rankings, will battle second-seeded and 7th-ranked Merrimack College, ranked third in the region, in semifinal round action of the 2013 Northeast-10 Conference Field Hockey Tournament in North Andover, Mass., on Friday at 4 p.m.

Admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for senior citizens and children and $1.00 for students of participating institutions with a valid ID. Merrimack will be offering a live video webcast via www.merrimackathletics.tv with live stats available through www.stonehillskyhawks.com. Links to both are also available at the top of this page. Tomorrow's winner will advance to Sunday's NE-10 Championship to face the winner of Friday's other semifinal between fourth-seeded Adelphi University (11-8, 5-5 NE-10 and top-seeded and No. 3-ranked LIU Post (18-0, 10-0 NE-10), the top-ranked team in the region, on Long Island at 1 p.m. Stonehill could host the Championship with a win and loss by LIU Post on Friday.

Stonehill (17-2, 8-2 NE-10) reached the semifinals with a commanding 5-0 win over sixth-seeded Southern Connecticut State University in Tuesday's first round. Sophomore Erika Kelly (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) led the Skyhawks with five points on two goals and an assist, while senior Kelly Gouveia (Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth) scored a pair of goals within a 26-second span in the opening 6:10 as the Skyhawks scored all five goals in the first half. Junior Elizabeth Genovese (Street, Md./North Harford) made six saves in a scoreless 61:21 of play as Stonehill notched its third shutout of the year.

Stonehill, making its 16th NE-10 Tournament appearance, is making its fifth trip to the NE-10 semifinals in the last six years and tenth trip overall. The Skyhawks have reached the finals four times, winning the championship in 2005. While Stonehill, LIU Post and Merrimack are all pretty well assured of earning NCAA Tournament bids, seeding could still be up for grabs depending on the results of this weekend's NE-10 Tournament matchups, adding increased importance with the top seed in the region earning a bye straight into the National Semifinals in Virginia Beach, Va. NCAA Tournament bids will be announced on Monday, November 11, at 2 p.m.

Senior Kelly Gouveia scored the opening two goals to lead the Skyhawks past Southern Connecticut in Tuesday's first round and is second on the team in scoring with 26 points. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Stonehill ranks second in the NE-10 for scoring (4th nationally) with 3.9 goals per game, while ranking fourth with a 1.65 team goals against average (8th) and third with 10.4 penalty corners per game (5th). The Skyhawks have the third-best winning percentage in NCAA Division II and also rank sixth nationally for scoring margin (+2.0 goals per game).

Kelly leads Stonehill with her team-leading and program-record 70 points this season, which ranks second in the NE-10 and nationally and is the third-highest single-season total in Conference history. She leads Division II with her program and NE-10 record 34 goals to go with a pair of assists, posting a Conference-high nine gamewinning goals and posting a school-record six hat tricks this fall. Kelly is six goals shy of the NCAA Division II single-season record of 40 set by Jamie Vanartsdalen from Bloomsburg (Pa.) University in 2008 and she has recorded at least one point in 16 of the 18 games she has played this fall.

Gouveia is second on the team with 26 points (11th NE-10) on ten goals (10th) and six assists, having scored her second gamewinning goal of the year on Tuesday night. Sophomore Lauren Giordano (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) has added ten goals (10th) and three assists for 23 points (14th) in her first season for the Skyhawks, while senior All-American Devin Ingersoll (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) has dished out a team-high 11 assists (4th/11th nationally) to go with three goals, two gamewinners, for 17 points.

Junior Elizabeth Genovese (Street, Md./North Harford) has played all but 56:37 in the Stonehill cage this season and posted a 1.67 goals against average (5th NE-10/9th nationally) and .748 save percentage with 4.8 saves per game (5th/18th) and one shutout in 1,302:38 (3rd NE-10) over 19 games. Seniors Emily Coholan (South Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth), Chelsea Emery (New Hampton, N.H./Tilton School) and Gina Sheehan (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) spearhead the defense in front of Genovese.

Merrimack (13-4, 9-1 NE-10), which earned a first round bye, is making its seventh NE-10 Tournament appearance. The Warriors have reached the semifinal round three times, advancing to the Championship each of the last two years where they have been defeated by former NE-10 member University of Massachusetts Lowell each time, including a 1-0 decision last fall. Merrimack ranks third in the NE-10 for scoring with 3.5 goals per game (7th nationally) and scoring defense with a 1.56 team goals against average (7th), while also averaging 8.5 penalty corners per game.

Junior Elizabeth Genovese has yielded just a goal per game against Merrimack this season. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Senior Candace Waldie (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) leads Merrimack with 44 points (4th NE-10/6th nationally) on a team-high 17 goals (5th/8th) and ten assists (7th NE-10), scoring four game-winning goals (5th NE-10). Classmate Jessica Otis (Pittsford, N.Y./East Rochester) has dished a team-high 11 assists (4th/5th) with ten goals (10th NE-10) for 31 points (6th/12th), while freshman Maura Doyle (Merrimac, Mass./Kimball Union Academy) has contributed eight goals and five assists for 21 points.

Sophomore Madison Davis (San Jose, Calif./Branham) has established herself as Merrimack's top goalkeeper, posting a 1.27 goals against average (3rd NE-10/5th nationally) and .766 save percentage (5th/7th) with 4.2 saves per game (21st nationally) and five shutouts (2nd NE-10) in 991:54 (7th) over 14 games, posting a 12-2 record.

Stonehill and Merrimack split the regular season series between the two, with each team winning on the road. Stonehill posted a 3-1 non-conference triumph in North Andover on September 17, while Merrimack claimed a key 1-0 decision in the league matchup just last week on October 29 in Easton. Kelly scored all three Stonehill goals in its win over Merrimack, while Genovese posted a 1.00 goals against average and .895 save percentage with 8.5 saves per game over the two meetings with the Warriors. Davis posted a 1.50 GAA and .850 save percentage with 8.5 saves per game in the Merrimack cage in the two appearances against the Skyhawks, including 11 stops in the shutout win last week. Otis scored the lone goal against Stonehill last week with 11:25 left in regulation.

Tomorrow marks the second meeting all-time between these two programs in the NE-10 Tournament. Stonehill posted a 3-0 triumph over Merrimack in the semifinal round of the 2009 Tournament in Easton, Mass., with three different goal scorers. Courtney Foley, '11, opened the scoring 4:25 into the contest, while Jackie Ladino, '10, and Kathryn Nelson, '12, also netted markers, with current assistant coach Courtney Osier, '11, making just one save for the shutout win in goal.

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2013 Northeast-10 Conference
Field Hockey Championships

First Round
Tuesday, November 5

#4 Adelphi 2, #5 Bentley 1 (OT)
#3 Stonehill 5, #6 Southern Connecticut State 0

Friday, November 8 (at higher seeds)

#4 Adelphi (11-8, 5-5 NE-10) at #1 LIU Post (18-0, 10-0 NE-10), 1 p.m.
#3 Stonehill (17-2, 8-2 NE-10) at #2 Merrimack (13-4, 9-1 NE-10), 4 p.m.

Sunday, November 10 (at higher seed)

Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.