#10 Field Hockey Sets Sights on Back-to-Back Titles

Junior Shea Healy sent Stonehill to its third straight NE-10 Championship game with her overtime goal at Adelphi last night. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Fourth-seeded Skyhawks square off with second-seeded Assumption for NE-10 Championship in Worcester, Mass., on Sunday

NE-10 Field Hockey Championship Central

EASTON, Mass. (November 7, 2015) – Fourth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked tenth in this week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, looks to successfully defend its Northeast-10 Conference Tournament crown as it visits second-seeded and 8th-ranked Assumption College for the 2015 NE-10 Championship at Multi-Sport Field on Sunday at 1 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 game will be broadcast live via northeast10.tv with Roei Biberstain and Matt Janik calling the action. Links to the webcast as well as live stats are also available via stonehillskyhawks.com.

Stonehill (13-6, 9-3 NE-10) has advanced to the NE-10 Championship game for the third straight year, having won its second tournament title with a 1-0 triumph at then top-seeded LIU Post last season. The Skyhawks, participating in its 18th NE-10 Tournament, has reached the championship game eight times overall, adding a title in 2005 to last year's crown. Assumption (14-5, 10-2 NE-10), which shared the NE-10 regular season championship with Adelphi University, is competing in the NE-10 Tournament for the eighth time, having reached its fifth championship. The Greyhounds seek their first tournament title, having finished as runners-up in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2002, falling to Bentley University each time.

Both teams posted one goal victories in their semifinal contests on Friday with Stonehill erasing a 3-0 halftime deficit with four unanswered goals in a 4-3 overtime triumph at top-seeded and 4th-ranked Adelphi. Senior All-American Erika Kelly (Watertown, Massachusetts/Watertown) spurred the comeback with two goals and an assist in the second half, potting the equalizer with 4:49 left in regulation, before junior Shea Healy (Greenfield, Massachusetts/Pioneer Valley) fired the Skyhawks into the final with the game winner 3:24 into overtime. Stonehill notched a 2-1 victory over fifth-seeded and 9th-ranked Saint Anselm College in the first round on Tuesday. Assumption, which earned a first round bye, rode a first half goal from sophomore Belle Ives (Topsfield, Massachusetts/Masconomet Regional) to a 1-0 victory over third-seeded and 6th-ranked Merrimack College in their semifinal. Freshman Sarah Bodzinski (Southwick, Massachusetts/Southwick Tolland Regional) made the goal stand with an 11 save shutout in just her second career start.

Senior All-American Erika Kelly had a hand in all three second half goals at Adelphi last night and is the top scorer in Division II. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Stonehill enters Sunday's championship winners of six of its last seven after its two postseason wins this week. The Skyhawks boast the top offense in Division II with 3.6 goals per game, while ranking ninth in the NE-10 with a 2.15 team goals against average. Stonehill is also averaging 7.5 penalty corners per contest.

Kelly, voted the NE-10 Player of the Year this week, is a huge part of Stonehill's offensive success as she leads all of NCAA Division II in scoring with 61 points as well as 25 goals, while ranking second with her 11 assists. She has notched at least a point in all 19 games this season and 20 in a row dating back to 2014. Kelly made Northeast-10 history last week as her 96 career goals has established a new Northeast-10 record and now rank second in Division II history. She is one of just five student-athletes in Division II history with over 200 career points, now ranking third all-time (2nd NE-10) with 213, six shy of UMass Lowell product Sammy Macy's (2007-10) NE10 record of 219 points, in 79 career games played. Kelly's 21 career assists ranks sixth in program history.

Freshman Kacie Smith (Norwood, Massachusetts/Norwood), a second team All-NE-10 and NE-10 All-Rookie Team selection, has made an immediate impact for Stonehill in her freshman campaign, ranking second on the team with 14 goals and seven assists for 35 points, while junior Sarah Morse (Westminster, Massachusetts/Oakmont Regional), named to the All-NE-10 first team, shares the team lead with 11 assists (2nd Division II) to go with four goals for 19 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.

Freshman goalkeeper Sara Freedman (Hopkinton, Massachusetts/Hopkinton), an NE-10 All-Rookie Team selection, has seen the majority of time in the Stonehill goal this fall. She has posted a 2.16 goals against average and .721 save percentage with 4.9 saves per game in 1,101:13 over 18 games. Seniors Lauren Dymek (Hadley, Massachusetts/Hopkins Academy) and Maggie Travers (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) spearhead the defense in front of Freedman for Stonehill, having both posted two defensive saves.

Senior Lauren Dymek and the Skyhawks defense will look for a strong game on Sunday. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

For the third straight postseason game, Stonehill will face the top defense in the NE-10 after unseating Saint Anselm and Adelphi from that position in the first round and semifinals. Assumption has posted a 1.03 team goals against average, ranking third nationally in Division II, with seven shutouts, while ranking sixth in scoring at 2.4 goals per contest. The Greyhounds rank fifth in the NE-10 with 8.5 penalty corners per game.

Sophomore Bridget Boyle (Stow, Massachusetts/Nashoba Regional), the NE-10 Goalkeeper of the Year, who was forced to sit out Friday's semifinal due to illness is the backbone of the Assumption defense. She leads the NE-10 (4th nationally) with a 1.09 GAA and .810 save percentage with 4.8 saves per game and six shutouts in 1,218:08 over 17 starts. Senior back Allison Juneau (Auburn, Massachusetts/Auburn), a first team All-NE-10 selection, is also a big part of the Greyhounds defense, having posted eight defensive saves while chipping in with two goals and five assists for nine points.

Senior Kiley Colucci (Gloucester, Rhode Island/St. Mary's Academy) leads Assumption in scoring with seven goals and seven assists for 21 points. Classmate Sarah Frahm (Salem, New Hampshire/Salem) has also netted a team-high seven goals to go with four assists for 18 points, while sophomore Allison Sheahan (Higganum, Connecticut/Haddam-Killingworth) has contributed six goals and an assist for 13 points.

Sunday marks the 30th meeting all-time between these two programs, the third in postseason play and second in the NE-10 Tournament. Stonehill holds a 19-10 advantage in the all-time series which dates back to 1996, but Assumption has won both postseason encounters, including a 1-0 overtime triumph in the first round of the 2002 NE-10 Tournament. The Skyhawks had won 12 straight and 18 of 19 in the series following that overtime setback, before the Greyhounds recorded a 4-1 victory in the lone regular season matchup in Easton on October 3.

Assumption struck for three goals in the second half during the regular season win, including two Colucci, to stop Stonehill's five game win streak and assume sole possession of first place in the NE-10 standings. Boyle made five of her eight saves in the second half to preserve the win, while Sheahan also netted a pair of goals for the Greyhounds. Stonehill posted a 17-14 edge in shots, including 9-5 in the second half, and held an 8-2 advantage in penalty corners in the match, but was only able to find the back of the cage once on a first half goal from Kelly.

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2015 Northeast-10 Conference
Field Hockey Championships

First Round
Tuesday, November 3 (at higher seeds)

#3 Merrimack 4, #6 Bentley 0
#4 Stonehill 2, #5 Saint Anselm 1 

Friday, November 6 (at higher seeds)

#4 Stonehill 4, #1 Adelphi 3 (OT)
#2 Assumption 1, #3 Merrimack 0 

Sunday, November 8 (at highest remaining seed)

#4 Stonehill (13-6, 9-3 NE-10) at #2 Assumption (14-5, 10-2 NE-10), 1 p.m.