#5 Stonehill Earns Fifth NCAA Tournament Bid

Head Coach Shelly Morris has led the Skyhawks to their fifth NCAA Tournament bid, the third in her six seasons. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Second-seeded Skyhawks will host third-seeded and 7th-ranked Merrimack in NCAA first round on Saturday at W.B. Mason Stadium at noon


EASTON, Mass. (November 11, 2013) – Stonehill College, ranked fifth in the most recent Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, has earned its fifth trip to the NCAA Division II Field Hockey Tournament after receiving the No. 2 seed in the North Region and will host a first round matchup at W.B. Mason Stadium on Saturday at noon.

Stonehill (18-3, 8-2 NE-10) will host third-seeded and No. 7-ranked Merrimack College (13-5, 9-1 NE-10) in Saturday's opening round after the Warriors earned their third-straight bid. The Skyhawks are making their third NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach Shelly Morris, and their first since 2010 when they made their second of back-to-back trips to the National Semifinals. It marks the third-straight NCAA bid in which Stonehill will host an NCAA Tournament game at W.B. Mason as it hosted a first round matchup with American International College in 2010 and the 2009 National Championships.

Admission to Saturday's game will be $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for senior citizens and children.

No. 3-ranked LIU Post (20-0, 10-0 NE-10), the Northeast-10 Conference regular season and tournament champions, earned the top seed from the North Region and a bye to the national semifinals which will be played at the USA Field Hockey Training Center at the Virginia Beach SportsPlex in Virginia Beach, Va., on Friday, November 22, at 12:30 p.m.

Top-ranked Shippensburg University (18-1, 10-0 PSAC) earned the top-seed in the South Region and awaits the winner of Saturday's first round matchup between third-seeded and No. 4-ranked West Chester University (14-5, 8-2 PSAC), the two-time defending National Champions, and second-seeded and No. 2-ranked Millersville University (18-2, 8-2 PSAC), the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament championships, which will be played in Millersville, Pa., at noon. The National Championship game will be played at L.R. Hill Sports Complex on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., on Sunday, November 24, at 1:15 p.m.

Stonehill has also earned NCAA Tournament bids in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010 reaching the national semifinals in 2005, 2009 and 2010. The Skyhawks are a win shy of the single-season program record set with a 19-0 campaign in 2005. Stonehill reached the NE-10 Championship for the fifth time in program history on Sunday, falling to LIU Post, 2-1, in Brookville, N.Y.

Saturday will mark the fourth meeting between Stonehill and Merrimack this season, the third in the last three weeks. The Skyhawks have won two of the three previous meetings this season, including a 3-2 decision in the NE-10 semifinals on Friday, but both wins have come on the road, while the Warriors claimed a 1-0 triumph in their visit to W.B. Mason Stadium on October 29. The Skyhawks are led by sophomore Erika Kelly (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) who has scored a Division II best and NE-10 record 37 goals this season to go with a pair of assists for a program-record 76 points. Her goal total is three shy of the NCAA Division II record of 40 set by Jamie Vanartsdalen from Bloomsburg (Pa.) University in 2008. Senior back Gina Sheehan (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) earned NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year honors to lead the Skyhawks backline.

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.

2013 NCAA Division II
Field Hockey Championship 

First Round
Saturday, November 16
#7 Merrimack (13-5, 9-1 NE-10) at #5 Stonehill (18-3, 8-2 NE-10), Noon
#4 West Chester (14-5, 8-2 PSAC) at #2 Millersville (18-2, 8-2 PSAC), Noon 

Friday, November 22

USA Field Hockey Training Center, Virginia Beach, Va.
Merrimack/Stonehill winner vs. #3 LIU Post (20-0, 10-0 NE-10), 12:30 p.m.
West Chester/Millersville winner vs. #1 Shippensburg (18-1, 10-0 PSAC), 3:30 p.m.

National Championship
Sunday, November 24

L.R. Hill Sports Complex/Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va.

Semifinals winners, 1:15 p.m.