Junior Cara Corvino leads the Skyhawks defense into Wednesday's NE-10 Quarterfinal. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Sixth-seeded Skyhawks aim extend 17-year streakof NE-10 semifinal appearances running
EASTON, Mass. (May 3, 2016) – Sixth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked 20th in this week's Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II poll opens postseason play with a Northeast-10 Conference Tournament quarterfinal matchup at third-seeded and 13th-ranked Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Admission for tomorrow's quarterfinal round matchup will be $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for children and senior citizens and $1.00 for students from participating teams with valid ID. For those unable to attend, a live video webcast will be available at BentleyFalcons.tv as well as live stats, with links to both also available via stonehillskyhawks.com. The Stonehill Spirit Committee is sponsoring a fan bus to the game, which will depart from the Duffy parking lot at 2:40 p.m., with signups available now at the Roche Commons info desk.
Stonehill (9-8, 7-6 NE-10) played its way back into the NE-10 Tournament with a pair of wins in the final week of the regular season, marking the third time this season it has won back to back games. The Skyhawks are the only program to appear in all 18 NE-10 Tournaments, having won a Conference-high nine championships. Stonehill has reached at least the semifinal round each of its previous 17 NE-10 Tournament appearances, going on to 11 title game berths.
Sophomore All-American Kelly Healey is also a key to the Skyhawks defense and transition game. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Bentley (12-5, 10-3 NE-10) ranks second only to Stonehill with its 15 NE-10 Tournament appearances, having reached the semifinal round six times. The Falcons, winners of a program record ten straight games, seek their first NE-10 championship with two prior title game appearances. The winner of tomorrow's game will advance to this weekend's NE-10 "final four" to be hosted by the highest remaining seed after Wednesday's quarterfinal matchups on Saturday, May 7. It would face the winner of tomorrow's quarterfinal between seventh-seeded American International College (9-8, 6-7 NE-10) and second-seeded and No. 2-ranked Le Moyne College (15-1, 12-1 NE-10) being played in Syracuse, New York, at 1:30 p.m.
Stonehill enters the postseason boasting one of the top defensive units in the Northeast-10, ranking fifth in the Conference with a 9.53 team goals against average and third with 18.9 ground balls per game. A pair of All-Northeast-10 selections lead the Skyhawks defense in junior Cara Corvino (Dorset, Vermont/Burr and Burton Academy) and sophomore All-American Kelly Healey (Westwood, Massachusetts/Westwood). Corvino leads the Skyhawks and ranks eighth among NE-10 leaders with 30 caused turnovers and a team-high 41 ground balls (6th NE-10) with 30 draw controls, while Healey has added 28 ground balls, 25 draws and six caused turnovers, while chipping in ten goals in a more midfield role.
Senior captain Remi DiRe (Winchester, Massachusetts/Winchester) has contributed 32 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers, while junior Michaela Brown (Pleasantville, New York/The Ursuline School) has added 21 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers for the Skyhawks defense. Sophomore Kaitlyn Hess (Guilderland, New York/Guilderland) has seen the bulk of time in the Stonehill goal this season. She ranks fifth in the NE-10 with her 9.12 goals against average with 4.8 saves per game in 816:08 over 15 games, while collecting 34 ground balls and seven caused turnovers.
Senior Caitlin Sweeney shares the team lead in scoring, netting four goals in the regular season meeting with Bentley. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Seniors Caitlin Sweeney (Hollis, New Hampshire/Hollis-Brookline) and Rebecca Matheson (Reading, Massachusetts/Reading Memorial) pace the Stonehill offense, which is averaging 8.18 goals per game (12th NE-10), with 42 points apiece. Sweeney, who enters tomorrow's game with 95 career points, has netted a team-high 32 goals to go with ten assists. Matheson, a point shy of 100 for her career, adds 28 goals and a team-high 14 assists. Junior Elizabeth Vetter (Great River, New York/East Islip), a third team All-NE-10 selection, has contributed 28 goals and seven assists for 35 points, while leading the team with 51 draw controls (12th NE-10) and adding 39 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers.
Junior goalkeeper Lauren Ochs (Rochester, New York/Irondequiot), the NE-10 Goalkeeper of the Year, backboned the Bentley defense which ranks fourth in the Conference with a 9.00 team goals against average. She has played all 1,019:58 of her team's time in the goal this season with the 9.00 GAA and .497 save percentage with nine saves per game, while chipping in 38 ground balls and ten caused turnovers.
Junior Hannah Lindgren (Southborough, Massachusetts/Algonquin Regional) paces the Bentley attack with 37 goals and a team-high 19 assists for 56 points, while adding 35 ground balls, 25 draw controls and 12 caused turnovers. Senior Kelsey Howard (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) shares the team lead with 37 goals to go with 14 assists for 51 points, collecting 36 draws, while classmate Erin O'Connor (Longmeadow, Massachusetts/Longmeadow) is chipping in 31 goals and seven assists for 38 points.
Senior Meredith Hart (Fairport, New York/Fairport) leads the Falcons with 17 caused turnovers, while sophomore Kathleen Gillespie (Topsfield, Massachusetts/Masconomet Regional) has collected a team-best 59 draw controls.
Wednesday will mark the 27th meeting all-time between the two rivals, the fifth in the NE-10 Tournament. Stonehill holds a 24-2 advantage in the all-time series after Bentley snapped a streak of 20-straight losses to the Skyhawks with its 15-7 triumph in Waltham on April 13. The Skyhawks have won each of the previous four NE-10 Tournament matchups, including a 15-10 victory in the quarterfinal round last season at W.B. Mason Stadium in Easton.
Bentley scored the first seven goals of the game over the opening 8:41 on its way to a 10-3 halftime lead and never looked back during the regular season encounter last month. Lindgren led the Falcons with five goals and two assists, while Ochs posted seven saves in goal to preserve the win, adding four ground balls and three caused turnovers. Sweeney paced Stonehill with four goals in the matchup.
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2016 Northeast-10 Conference
Women's Lacrosse Tournament
Wednesday, May 4 (at higher seeds)
#7 American International (9-8, 6-7 NE-10) at #2 Le Moyne (15-1, 12-1 NE-10), 1:30 p.m.
#6 Stonehill (9-8, 7-6 NE-10) at #3 Bentley (12-5, 10-3 NE-10), 4 p.m.
#5 Southern New Hampshire (12-5, 8-5 NE-10) at #4 New Haven (12-5, 10-3 NE-10), 7 p.m.
#8 Pace (9-7, 6-7 NE-10) at #1 Adelphi (16-0, 13-0 NE-10), 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 7 (at highest remaining seed)
SNH/UNH winner vs. PAC/ADE winner, TBA
AIC/LEM winner vs. STO/BEN winner, TBA
Sunday, May 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.