Senior All-American Erika Kelly rallied the Skyhawks with two goals and an assist in the second half. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)
Kelly leads Skyhawks back from three goal deficit, before Healy pots OT winner
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (November 6, 2015) – Fourth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked tenth in this week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, erased a three goal halftime deficit with four unanswered goals to stun top-seeded and No. 4-ranked Adelphi University, 4-3 in overtime in semifinal round action of the 2015 Northeast-10 Conference Field Hockey Tournament at Motamed Field this afternoon.
Stonehill (13-6, 9-3 NE-10) advances to its third straight NE-10 Championship appearance and the defending champions visit second-seeded and No. 8-ranked Assumption College (14-5, 10-2 NE-10) for the title on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Greyhounds advanced with a 1-0 victory over third-seeded and 6th-ranked Merrimack College in tonight's second semifinal. Adelphi (14-5, 10-2 NE-10) awaits a possible NCAA Tournament appearance when bids are announced on Monday at 1 p.m.
Senior All-American Erika Kelly (Watertown, Massachusetts/Watertown), the NE-10 Player of the Year, powered Stonehill to victory with two goals and an assist in the second half as the Skyhawks erased a 3-0 halftime deficit to force overtime. Junior Shea Healy's (Greenfield, Massachusetts/Pioneer Regional) goal 3:24 into overtime capped the comeback and sent Stonehill through to the final. Freshman Kacie Smith (Norwood, Massachusetts/Norwood) also netted a goal for the Skyhawks.
Freshman Sara Freedman (Hopkinton, Massachusetts/Hopkinton) made five of her seven saves in the first half to keep Stonehill within range. The Skyhawks held a 19-15 advantage in shots for the contest, including 13-4 after halftime, while posting both overtime shots, and finishing with an 8-6 edge in penalty corners.
Junior Shea Healy scored the gamewinner 3:24 into overtime to complete the comeback win. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)
Junior Lena Pollich (Massapequa, New York/Massapequa) led Adelphi with two goals, while senior Molly Cuevas (San Jose, California/Leland) registered a goal and assist. Sophomore Amanda Gargiulo (Westbury, New York/W.T. Clarke) finished with nine saves in the Panthers cage.
Facing a three goal deficit heading into the second half after Adelphi struck three times within a six minute span midway through the first half, Kelly got Stonehill started with her first goal of the afternoon 13:38 into the second with a hard shot from the right side. The Skyhawks completed the comeback with back to back goals less than five minutes apart. Smith drew Stonehill within one off a pass from Kelly for her 14th goal of the season with 9:06 remaining and then Kelly equalized with 4:49 left with a blast from the top of the arc off a penalty corner for her Division II-best 25th goal of the year.
Kelly, who had missed the cage with a penalty stroke with a chance to give Stonehill a lead early in the first half, was awarded a second stroke 1:33 into overtime, but Gargiulo made the stop to keep Adelphi alive. The Skyhawks, who have won four straight overtime decisions, maintained the pressure and Healy potted her sixth goal of the season and second gamewinner 3:24 into the extra frame off a pass from junior Sarah Morse (Westminster, Massachusetts/Oakmont Regional) with a high shot into the left side of the goal.
Adelphi appeared poised to run to its first NE-10 Championship appearance, scoring three times within a six minute span in the first half. Pollich opened the scoring 15:36 into the game when she converted a pass from senior Olivia Nowokunski (Leominster, Massachusetts/Leominster) into the right corner. Cuevas doubled the Panthers lead less than four minutes later off a feed from senior Kristen Bagley (Holbrook, New York/Sachem East) for her 14th goal of the year at 19:14. Pollich's second goal of the half (13th of the season) stretched the Adelphi lead to three off a corner pass by Cuevas at 21:20.
Kelly, who has at least a point in all 19 games this season and 20 straight dating back to 2014, scored the NE-10 record 95th and 96th goals of her career this afternoon and her five point day gives her 213 career points, good for third all-time in NCAA Division II history and just six shy of the NE-10 record of 219 by UMass Lowell's Sammy Macy (2007-10). Smith's goal extends her point streak to seven games.