Sixth-seeded Skyhawks making NE10 record-matching 20th Tournament appearance
Smith leads the Skyhawks to a 20th NE10 Tournament appearance as one of just two 100-goal scorers in NCAA Division II history. (PHOTO BY Matt Campbell)
EASTON, Mass. (November 12, 2018) – Sixth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked ninth in the most recent Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, will make its Conference-record matching 20th appearance in the Northeast-10 Field Hockey Tournament when it visits third-seeded and No. 7-ranked LIU Post for a quarterfinal round matchup at Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Admission will be $5.00 for adults, $4.00 for students and senior citizens, with students from participating institutions with a valid ID admitted for $1.00. The game will be streamed live via liupostpioneers.com, with links to the stream and live stats also available through stonehillskyhawks.com.
Stonehill (12-6, 8-5 NE10) heads into its 20th NE10 Tournament appearance, a total matched only by fellow participant and seventh-seeded Bentley University in Conference history, looking to reclaim the form it showed during a 6-1 start in which the Skyhawks won five-straight and claimed wins over current No. 1 West Chester (Pa.) University and No. 3 East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University in September. LIU Post (13-4, 10-3 NE10) is in the NE10 Tournament for the fifth and final time before combining with their Brooklyn campus to compete at the NCAA Division I level in 2019.
The winner of tomorrow's quarterfinal round matchup will advance to Friday's semifinals to face the winner between seventh-seeded Bentley (11-7, 7-6 NE10) and second-seeded Merrimack College (15-3, 11-2 NE10) being played tomorrow in North Andover, Massachusetts, at 7 p.m. The NE10 Championship is Sunday at the site of the highest remaining seed at 1 p.m.
Stonehill enters the NE10 Tournament ranked No. 4 in the latest NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, needing some success this week to earn a spot in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The Skyhawks have reached the NE10 Championship game three times over the last six years and seven times in program history overall. The Skyhawks have won the tournament three times, with titles in 2005, 2014 and 2015, and finals appearances in 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2013 as well. LIU Post, ranked third in the region, has reached the NE10 Championship in all four of its previous trips to the Tournament, having won the championship three times and are the two-time defending champions. In fact, Stonehill and LIU Post have combined to win the last five NE10 Championships.
Freedman, Stonehill's all-time saves leader, will backbone the Skyhawks defensive effort. (PHOTO BY Matt Campbell)
Tuesday marks the 20th meeting all-time between these two programs, the fifth in postseason play and fourth in the NE10 Tournament. Stonehill holds a 10-9 edge in the all-time series which dates back to 1998 and will likely end after this season, but LIU Post is 3-1 against the Skyhawks in postseason play, with a 2-1 edge in the NE10 Tournament. The Pioneers notched a 3-0 win over Stonehill in the semifinals of the 2016 Tournament the last time they met in postseason play.
LIU Post dealt Stonehill a 4-1 defeat in Easton in their regular season encounter less than two weeks ago on October 28. Senior Emily Miller led LIU Post with a five-point game, netting the first two goals of the contest and then assisting on the only second half marker by either side to seal the key NE10 win. Sophomore Rachel Vellis preserved the win with 11 saves in the LIU Post goal. Senior Sara Freedman logged ten stops in the Stonehill cage, while classmate Carly Andersen netted the lone goal for the Skyhawks.
Stonehill enters postseason play having posted a 6-5 mark since starting 6-1, having lost three of its last five to close out the regular season. The Skyhawks are ranked third in the NE10 and seventh nationally in Division II by scoring 3.22 goals per game, while ranking sixth in the Conference and 13th nationally with a 1.47 goals against average. Stonehill leads the NE10 and ranks sixth nationally with its six shutouts this season and are ninth in the league (20th nationally) with 7.2 penalty corners per game.
Senior All-American Kacie Smith, the reigning Longstreth/NFHCA Division II Player of the Year, spearheads Stonehill's offensive attack, and is one of just two players in NCAA Division II history to surpass 100 career goals and 200 points. She leads Division II in scoring for the second-straight year with 29 goals and 67 points, also dishing out a team-high nine assists this season. Smith enters the postseason ranked second in NCAA Division II history with her NE10 record 250 points and 106 goals, to go with her program-record 38 assists, which ranks fifth in NE10 history.
Andersen has etched her name onto Stonehill's career scoring and goals lists. (PHOTO BY Matt Campbell)
Andersen and freshman Olivia Cameron lend offensive support for Smith. Andersen is seventh among NE10 scoring leaders with 31 points as well as goals with 12, ranking eighth in the Conference with her seven assists. Cameron, a two-time NE10 Rookie of the Week, has added nine goals and two assists for 20 points in her first collegiate season. Junior All-American Michaela Antonellis has chipped in three goals and two assists for eight points from the midfield.
Freedman, Stonehill's career saves leader with 452 in 78 career games played, ranks fifth in the NE10 and 12th nationally in Division II with her 1.82 goals against average, having started all 18 games and averaging 4.8 saves per game in 1,186:49 with three shutouts (5th NE10). Senior MacKenzie Greenberg, sophomore Elaine Bachelder and freshman Charlotte Cloosterman spearhead the defensive backfield in front of Freedman. The trio have all recorded a pair of defensive saves for the Skyhawks this season.
LIU Post enters the postseason winners of five straight, including the 4-1 win over Stonehill, looking to cap its five-year run in the NE10 with a third-straight championship. The Pioneers lead the NE10 and rank second in Division II by scoring 3.76 goals per game, while ranking fifth in the Conference and 12th nationally with a 1.46 team goals against average. They are fifth in the NE10 with 7.8 penalty corners per game.
Miller, who joins Smith as one of seven 200-point scorers in Division II history, ranks second nationally with her 64 points and 25 goals, leading the country with her 14 assists in 17 games. She has totaled 91 goals and 30 assists for 212 points in 79 career games.
Sophomore Sammy Bell has added 16 goals and seven assists for 39 points this season for LIU Post, while senior Tarryn Morris has contributed nine goals and two assists for 20 points.
Vellis has played all but 13-minutes in the LIU Post goal this season, posting a 1.47 goals against average and .803 save percentage, with 6.0 saves per game and two shutouts in 1,187:34 over 17 games this season. She ranks sixth in the NE10 and 13th nationally for goals against average, second in the NE10 for save percentage and sixth for saves per game.
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2018 Northeast-10 Conference
Field Hockey Championships
Tuesday, November 13 (at higher seeds)
#6 Stonehill (12-6, 8-5 NE10) at #3 LIU Post (13-4, 10-3 NE10), 1 p.m.
#5 Southern N.H. (10-8, 8-5 NE10) at #4 Saint Anselm (13-5, 10-3 NE10), 4 p.m.
#8 Assumption (11-7, 7-6 NE10) at #1 Pace (17-1, 13-0 NE10), 6 p.m.
#7 Bentley (11-7, 7-6 NE10) at #2 Merrimack (15-3, 11-2 NE10), 7 p.m.
Friday, November 16 (at higher seeds)
Stonehill/LIU Post winner vs. Bentley/Merrimack winner
SNHU/STA winner vs. Assumption/Pace
Sunday, November 18 (at higher seed)
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.