NE-10 SEMIFINAL: #5 Stonehill Advances Past #7 Adelphi, 3-1

Junior All-American Erika Kelly scored two goals to lead the Skyhawks past Adelphi. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Kelly nets pair of goals to lead Skyhawks to second-straight NE-10 Championship appearance at top-seeded LIU Post 

EASTON, Mass. (November 20, 2014) –  Second-seeded Stonehill College, ranked fifth in this week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, used a two goal first half to fuel a 3-1 triumph over third-seeded and No. 7-ranked Adelphi University in semifinal round action of the 2014 Northeast-10 Conference field hockey tournament at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium today.

Stonehill (16-3, 9-2 NE-10) advances to its sixth NE-10 Championship on Saturday where it will face top-seeded and No. 4-ranked LIU Post (16-2, 10-1 NE-10) for the second straight year in the title game on Long Island at 1 p.m. The defending champion Pioneers advanced with a 4-0 triumph over fourth-seeded American International College in today's other semifinal contest. Adelphi (14-6, 8-3, NE-10) now awaits word of a potential NCAA Tournament bid when selections are made on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Junior All-American Erika Kelly (Watertown, Massachusetts/Watertown) scored a pair of goals, while classmate Elizabeth Thornton (Needham, Massachusetts/Needham) added a marker for Stonehill. Senior Elizabeth Genovese (Street, Maryland/North Harford) preserved the win with five saves, including three in the second half, as Stonehill finished with a 21-14 advantage for shots, including 15-6 in dominant first half, and held a 10-6 edge in penalty corners, 8-1 in the opening half. Sophomore Sarah Morse (Westminster, Massachusetts/Oakmont Regional) chipped in with an assist and defensive save for the Skyhawks.

Junior Elizabeth Thornton scored the opening goal for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Junior Molly Cuevas (San Jose, California/Leland) scored the lone goal for Adelphi, while classmate Kelly Serrao (Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey/Parsippany) kept the Panthers in the game with 12 saves, including nine in the first half.

Thornton opened the scoring when she put Stonehill in front with her seventh goal of the season as she took a pass from senior All-American Emily Sideris (Watertown, Massachusetts/Watertown) off a Morse penalty corner and fired a shot past Serrao just inside the left post 20:10 into the game. Kelly gave the Skyhawks a two goal halftime lead when she collected a loose ball in the center of the scoring area and dragged the ball past a defender before firing a sharp wrist shot into the left side of the cage from eight yards out at 31:13.

Adelphi tilted possession in their favor for the first 15 minutes of the second half and was able to cut the lead in half with Cuevas' 12th goal of the year when she took a corner pass from freshman Samantha Nizich (Nesconset, New York/Smithtown East), took one touch into the circle and fired a shot through traffic into the goal 10:05 into the half. It marked her fifth straight goal for the Panthers dating back to her four-goal outing in Tuesday's 6-2 win over sixth-seeded Bentley University in the first round of the NE-10 tournament.

Stonehill was able to break the pressure from Adelphi and moments after Kelly had a goal waived off on a penalty corner, she finished off the double with her 25th goal of the season to regain a two goal cushion for the Skyhawks with 4:53 to play. She collected the ball off a Panthers turnover, carried inside the circle and scored on a drive from the upper left corner of the arc from 12 yards out.

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.