NE-10 FIRST ROUND: #6 Field Hockey Edges Assumption to Advance, 1-0


Smith's Division II leading 22nd goal of the year was enough to send the Skyhawks through to the NE-10 semifinals. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Smith nets lone goal, while Freedman notches eight shutout

NE-10 Field Hockey Championship Central

EASTON, Mass. (November 1, 2016) – Third-seeded Stonehill College, ranked No. 6 in this week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, rode a strong defensive effort in notching a 1-0 victory over sixth-seeded Assumption College in first round action of the 2016 Northeast-10 Conference field hockey tournament at Timothy J. Coughlin '80 Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight.

Stonehill (14-4, 9-3 NE-10) advances to Friday's semifinal round where it will visit second-seeded and No. 5-ranked LIU Post (13-3, 9-3 NE-10) at 1 p.m. The winner will advance to Sunday's NE-10 Championship to be played at the highest remaining seed at 1 p.m. The Pioneers earned a first round bye in the NE-10 Tournament, along with top-seeded and No. 3-ranked Saint Anselm College (15-3, 10-2 NE-10), who will host fifth-seeded Merrimack College (9-7, 8-4 NE-10) in Friday's other semifinal at 4 p.m. The Warriors advanced in today's other first round matchup with a 1-0 win at fourth-seeded Adelphi University. Assumption sees its season come to a close with a 10-8 record overall, including 7-5 in the Northeast-10.

Sophomore Kacie Smith (Norwood, Massachusetts/Norwood) scored the only goal of the game and classmate Sara Freedman (Hopkinton, Massachusetts/Hopkinton) was called on to make just one second-half save to record her eighth shutout of the season for Stonehill, the two-time defending champions of the NE-10 Tournament. The Skyhawks backline of senior All-American Sarah Morse (Westminster, Massachusetts/Oakmont Regional), junior Alexandra Dillon (Canton, Massachusetts/Canton), sophomore MacKenzie Greenberg (Mendon, Massachusetts/Hopedale) and freshman Michaela Antonellis (Watertown, Massachusetts/Watertown) limited Assumption to just one shot on goal out of seven total shots on the night.

Freedman made one save to preserve her NE-10 leading eighth shutout of the year. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Sophomore Sarah Bodzinski (Southwick, Massachusetts/Southwick Tolland Regional) kept Assumption in the game with 11 saves, including eight in the first half, while senior Andrea Koslowski (Warren, Massachusetts/Quaboag Regional) chipped in with an early defensive save during a Stonehill flurry in the opening minutes. The Skyhawks posted a 20-7 advantage for shots in the game, including 14-5 in the first half, as well as a 9-4 edge in penalty corners.

Bodzinski had five saves before the game was 14 minutes old, with Koslowski also keeping the ball out of the cage for Assumption when she cleared a rebound five minutes in. Smith broke through with the lone goal of the game at 18:43 when she one-timed a long pass from the right side from senior captain Shea Healy (Greenfield, Massachusetts/Pioneer Regional) on the right side of the circle, which settled into the left side of the cage for her NCAA Division II leading 22nd goal of the season. Healy's assist gives her ten points (four goals, two assists) over the last five games.

Smith had a second marker waived off following a penalty corner in the 47th minute, which would have provided some insurance, but Assumption was unable to place another shot on target after Freedman made a save on a shot by freshman Kristen McCarthy (Danvers, Massachusetts/Danvers) in the 44th minute. Freedman's NE-10 leading eight shutouts this season are just one shy of the program's single-season record of nine by Dani Ryder '08 in 2006. Freedman's 112 saves this season rank sixth on the single-season list.           

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market. Stonehill will serve as host of the 2016 NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championship at W.B. Mason Stadium, November 18-20.