Smith scored her 40th goal of the season on Saturday, matching the NCAA Division II single-season record. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)
Melvin leads Pioneers with goal and assist; Smith matches DII goals record
BROOKVILLE, N.Y. (October 28, 2017) – LIU Post, ranked No. 5 in this week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, scored a pair of goals in the second half to edge 6th-ranked Stonehill College in the Northeast-10 Conference field hockey regular season finale for both at Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium this afternoon.
Stonehill (13-5, 10-2 NE10), which earned a bye for next week's NE10 Tournament, will look to bounce back from consecutive setbacks to close out the regular season when it hosts an NE10 semifinal at W.B. Mason Stadium on Friday, November 3, at 6 p.m. The Skyhawks await the winner of Tuesday's first round matchup between third-seeded Pace University (15-3, 9-3 NE10) and sixth-seeded Assumption College (10-8, 7-5 NE10) being played in Pleasantville, New York, at 4 p.m. LIU Post (15-3, 9-3 NE10) is seeded fourth in the tournament and will host fifth-seeded Merrimack College (11-6, 7-5 NE10) for a first round battle on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Freshman Kate Melvin (Milford, Delaware/Milford) had a hand in both second half goals for LIU Post with a goal and assist, scoring the deciding goal off a penalty corner less than ten minutes into the final frame. Senior Kaycee Zelkovsky (Lambertville, New Jersey/South Hunterdon Regional) also netted a goal for the Pioneers, which was credited with a 15-4 advantage for shots and held a 15-3 margin for penalty corners, including 7-1 for both categories in the second half.
Junior All-American Kacie Smith (Norwood, Massachusetts/Norwood) scored Stonehill's lone goal of the contest, marking her 40th of the season to match the NCAA Division II single-season record set by Bloomsburg (Pa.) University's Jamie Vanartsdalen in 2008. Smith, who leads all three levels of NCAA field hockey in scoring and goals, while ranking second for assists, is also just four points shy of Vanartsdalen's single-season scoring record (102 points) with 97 points. Smith has now scored in 17 of the Skyhawks 18 games this season.
Junior Sara Freedman (Hopkinton, Massachusetts/Hopkinton) finished with six saves in the Stonehill goal, giving her 338 for her career to move within 18 stops of the program's career record. Freshman Rachel Vellis (Wayne, New Jersey/Wayne) did not record a save in the LIU Post goal.
All three goals in the game occurred within a ten-minute span wrapped around halftime as Smith scored on a breakaway with 45-seconds to play in the first half to put Stonehill in front. Zelkovsky equalized for LIU Post 1:45 into the second half with a high shot off a corner pass from Melvin for her 13th goal of the year. Melvin pushed the Pioneers in front at 44:33 when she knocked in her third goal of the year off another penalty corner. That would prove to be the game winner as Stonehill earned just one corner and was not credited with a shot the rest of the way.
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.