#4 Field Hockey Starts Title Defense Against #5 Saint Anselm

Senior All-American Erika Kelly looks to lead the Skyhawks to a second straight championship. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Skyhawks host first round matchup Tuesday at W.B. Mason Stadium at 7 p.m.

BROCKTON ENTERPRISE: "Stonehill's Erika Kelly a record setter"

NE-10 Field Hockey Championship Seeding Announcement

EASTON, Mass. (November 2, 2015) – Fourth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked ninth in the most recent Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, opens its Northeast-10 Conference Tournament title defense when it hosts fifth-seeded and 10th-ranked Saint Anselm College for a first round matchup on Timothy J. Coughlin '80 Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

Admission is $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for senior citizens and children and $1.00 for students of participating institutions with a valid ID. The first 150 Stonehill students will be admitted free of charge courtesy of the Spirit Committee. Live stats will be available via stonehillskyhawks.com.

Stonehill (11-6, 9-3 NE-10), participating in its 18th NE-10 Tournament, looks to defend its 2014 NE-10 Championship this week, having reached the championship match each of the last two seasons. The Skyhawks, which captured the tournament crown last fall with a 1-0 triumph at then top-seeded LIU Post, also won the NE-10 Tournament in 2005 and have also reached the championship match in 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2013. Saint Anselm (15-3, 9-3 NE-10) is making just its second appearance in the NE-10 Tournament in program history, and first since 2007 when it advanced to the semifinals. The winner of tomorrow night's first round clash advances to Friday's semifinal round at top-seeded Adelphi University (14-4, 10-2 NE-10), with the game time to be announced.        

Junior Sarah Morse shares the national lead with Kelly on ten assists. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Stonehill enters postseason play winners of four of its last five following a 4-0 Senior Night triumph over Pace University at W.B. Mason Stadium on Friday night. The Skyhawks boast the top offense in Division II with 3.7 goals per game, while ranking ninth in the NE-10 with a 2.18 team goals against average.

Senior All-American Erika Kelly (Watertown, Massachusetts/Watertown) is a huge part of Stonehill offensive success as she leads all of NCAA Division II with 22 goals and ten assists for 54 points, having notched at least a point in all 17 games this season and 18 in a row dating back to 2014. Kelly made Northeast-10 history last week as her 93 career goals broke the Conference record of 91 by UMass Lowell's Sammy Macy (2007-10) and now rank second in Division II history and she is one of just five student-athletes in Division II history with over 200 career points, now ranking fourth all-time (2nd NE-10) with 206 points in 77 career games played. Kelly's 20 career assists ranks sixth in program history.

Freshman Kacie Smith (Norwood, Massachusetts/Norwood) has made an immediate impact for Stonehill in her rookie season, ranking second on the team with 12 goals and seven assists for 31 points, while junior Sarah Morse (Westminster, Massachusetts/Oakmont Regional) shares the Division II lead with ten assists to go with four goals for 18 points. Morse shares the team lead with three game winning goals with senior Lauren Giordano (Watertown, Massachusetts/Watertown) who has posted eight goals for 16 points this fall.

Junior Dana Dhami (Glastonbury, Connecticut/Glastonbury) and freshman Sara Freedman (Hopkinton, Massachusetts/Hopkinton) have both seen significant minutes in the Stonehill goal this season. Freedman has posted a 2.19 goals against average and .720 save percentage with 4.8 saves per game in 957:49 over 16 games, while Dhami has a 2.11 GAA and .759 save percentage with 3.7 saves in 232:11 over six games. Dhami posted a six save shutout against Pace on Friday night, while Freedman has two shutouts this season.

Senior Maggie Travers will lead the defensive unit for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Seniors Lauren Dymek (Hadley, Massachusetts/Hopkins Academy) and Maggie Travers (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) spearhead the defense for Stonehill, having both posted two defensive saves.

Saint Anselm shares the NE-10 lead with a 1.06 team goals against average (4th nationally), while ranking fourth in scoring with 3.0 goals per game. The Hawks have won six straight since their 4-3 setback to Stonehill on October 13, having posted a 12-0 record at home, compared to 3-3 on the road. The Hawks have posted seven shutout wins this fall.

Junior Katherine Sears (Northboro, Massachusetts/Algonquin) has played all but 86 minutes in the Saint Anselm goal this season, posting a 1.07 goals against average and .811 save percentage with five shutouts in 1,173:58 over 18 starts. Classmate Jennifer Brown (Freeport, Maine/North Yarmouth Academy) has contributed a team-leading four defensive saves for the Hawks.

Senior Meagan Halligan (North Branford, Connecticut/North Branford) leads Saint Anselm in scoring with 26 points on nine goals, including a team-high four game winners, and a team-best eight assists, while sophomore Emma Kincaid (West Bridgewater, Massachusetts/West Bridgewater) has scored a team-high 11 goals to go with an assist for 23 points. Sophomore Allia Connolly (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) has contributed seven goals and four assists for 18 points.

Coach's Corner with Susan Ciufo

Stonehill rallied from an early second half deficit to claim a 4-3 triumph over Saint Anselm in the regular season meeting between the two clubs at W.B. Mason Stadium on October 13. Kelly led the Skyhawks with two goals and an assist, while Smith and sophomore Alexandra Gerew (Harrisville, Rhode Island/Pomfret School) each added a goal for the Skyhawks who finished with a 22-16 shots advantage, including 13-8 in a wide open second half that featured a combined six goals. Sears had six stops in the Saint Anselm cage, while sophomore Erin Collins (Auburn, Massachusetts/Auburn) posted a goal and assist and Halligan dished out two assists.

While tomorrow night marks the first ever postseason meetings between these two programs, it will be the 24th meeting all-time. Stonehill holds a 23-1 advantage in the all-time series after the regular season victory.

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2015 Northeast-10 Conference
Field Hockey Championships

First Round
Tuesday, November 3 (at higher seeds)

#6 Bentley (9-8, 7-5 NE-10) at #3 Merrimack (13-4, 9-3 NE-10), 4 p.m.
#5 Saint Anselm (15-3, 9-3 NE-10) at #4 Stonehill (11-6, 9-3 NE-10), 7 p.m. 

Friday, November 6 (at higher seeds)

Bentley/Merrimack winner at #2 Assumption (13-5, 10-2 NE-10), TBA
St. Anselm/Stonehill winner at #1 Adelphi (14-4, 10-2 NE-10), TBA 

Sunday, November 8

Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.