Field Hockey Continues Quest For NCAA National Championship Friday Afternoon, Skyhawks Set To Square Off With UMass Lowell In North Region Semi-Finals At Shippensburg
November 7, 2005
After claiming its fourth victory in as many meetings with perennial NCAA power and 2004 national runner-up Bentley last Saturday, the Stonehill College field hockey team will continue its quest for the 2005 NCAA National championship this weekend.
Head Coach Pam Arpes second-seeded Skyhawks will bring a 19-2 overall mark and a school-record 15-match winning streak (the longest in the nation currently in Division II) into the NCAA Division II North Region national semi-final on Friday afternoon (November 11th) against top-seeded UMass Lowell (18-3) that will be played at the Robb Sports Complex on the campus of Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pa. beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST. The South Region national semi-final will pit top-seeded and host Shippensburg (20-2) against second-seeded and three-time defending NCAA national champion Bloomsburg (18-4) on Friday afternoon at the Robb Sports Complex at 5:00 p.m. EST.
Stonehill, making its first-ever appearance in the NCAA championships, advanced to the national semi-finals with a 1-0 victory over aforementioned Bentley last Saturday afternoon in the NCAA North Region national quarterfinals played in front of the largest home crowd ever (744) at W.B. Mason Stadium. Sophomore Aly Boulis (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln), the Most Valuable Player of the Northeast-10 Conference championships, provided the heroics once again for the Skyhawks by netting the game-winner with just over 13 minutes remaining in the contest on a feed from 2005 Northeast-10 Freshman of the Year Kerri Sullivan (Goffstown, N.H./Goffstown), and sophomore Dani Ryder (Gloucester, Mass./Tantasqua) made that stand up by making three saves in goal for Stonehill to record her school-record 19th win of the season and 10th shutout. The win gave Arpes crew a four-match season sweep of the Falcons, as three of those triumphs came by shutout.
Sophomore Caitlin Gleason (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown), a second-team all-Northeast-10 selection, leads Stonehill in scoring with 13 goals and six assists for 32 points, while junior All-America Kelly Latendresse (Sidney, Maine/Messalonskee), who earned first-team all-league accolades this fall, follows with nine goals and 13 assists for 31 points. Boulis has netted 11 goals and five assists for 27 points, while senior Julie Michalos (Norwood, Mass./Norwood), a first-team all-conference honoree, adds seven goals and five assists for 19 points. The Skyhawk defense, which has allowed Stonehill to notch more victories (19) than goals allowed (16) this season, is anchored by senior Lindsay Breen (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) and junior Courtney Campbell (Reading, Mass./Reading), who each earned all-Northeast-10 recognition.
Ryder, a six-time selection as Northeast-10 Goalkeeper of the Week this season, has recorded 19 victories to go with a league-best 0.72 goals against average and 10 shutouts, as she has recorded 72 saves for an .818 saves percentage. In all, eight Skyhawks have reached double-digits in points this fall, as Stonehill leads the conference in goals scored (67) as well.
Fridays NCAA national semi-finals will pit the Northeast-10 tournament champion (Stonehill) against the conference regular season champion in UMass Lowell, as Head Coach Shannon Hlebichuks River Hawks saw their school-record 16-match winning streak snapped by the Skyhawks back on October 30th in a 2-1 overtime decision in the Northeast-10 championship match at Cushing Field in Lowell, Mass. UMass Lowell was the last team to defeat Stonehill, as the River Hawks handed the Skyhawks a 3-2 setback on September 14th, the last blemish that preceded Stonehills current winning streak.
Junior Sara Hohenberger leads UMass Lowell in scoring with 22 goals and 13 assists for 57 points, while senior Courtney Hill follows with 10 goals and 13 assists for 33 points. Seniors Taylor Kloss and Joanna DaLuze (the Northeast-10 Co-Player of the Year) each add 20 points, while junior Nicole Staiti has posted a 1.13 goals against average and a .730 saves percentage to go with 18 wins in net for the River Hawks.
Fridays contest will be the 14th all-time series meeting between Stonehill and UMass Lowell, and the Skyhawks hold a slim 7-6 edge over the River Hawks following the October 30th victory in the Northeast-10 championship match. Stonehill has won six of the last 10 meetings.
The South Region national semi-final pits two heavyweights from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, as top-seeded Shippensburg has amassed an incredible 108 goals in 22 matches under veteran Head Coach Bertie Landes. Junior Ashley Watt leads the Raiders in scoring with 30 goals and 12 assists for 72 points, while sophomore Kristen Miller and junior Natalie Grazan follow with 45 and 43 points, respectively. Senior Nora Luchansky is 17-2 in goal for Shippensburg with a 1.40 goals against average and five shutouts.
Bloomsburg seeks its fourth straight NCAA national crown under longtime mentor Jan Hutchinson, as the Huskies advanced to the national semi-finals with a 2-1 overtime triumph over South Region third-seed Indiana (Pa.) last Saturday afternoon in Bloomsburg, Pa. Freshman Jamie Vanartsdalen leads Bloomsburg in scoring with 18 goals and seven assists for 43 points, while fellow freshman Samantha Kropa follows with 12 goals and three assists for 27 points. Junior Tracey Hudak is 18-4 in goal for the Huskies with a 1.28 goals against average and an .828 saves percentage to go with five shutouts.
The two national semi-final winners advance to the play for the 2005 NCAA Division II Field Hockey championship on Sunday, November 13th at Shippensburgs Robb Sports Complex beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST. For more information on the 2005 NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championships, log-on to www.ncaasports.com.
SKYHAWK TALK: Stonehill is the new kid on the block at this years NCAA national semi-finals, as UMass Lowell, Shippensburg and Bloomsburg all return after appearing in the 2004 final fourStonehill is 1-1 all-time against Shippensburg, having defeated the Raiders by a 1-0 final in 2001 before dropping a wild 7-6 overtime shootout in 2004 in Easton. The Skyhawks have never faced Bloomsburg previouslyField Hockey becomes the third sport in Stonehill history to advance to the NCAA national semi-final round, as womens basketball (1995) and womens lacrosse (2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005) also turned the trickThe Skyhawks have averaged 14 wins per season over the last five years alone under Arpes tutelage.