Senior Ashley Armstrong has earned NE-10 All-Championship team honors each of the last two seasons. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)
Fourth-seeded Skyhawks and fifth-seeded Bentley to clash at W.B. Mason Stadium at 7 p.m.
EASTON, Mass. (April 28, 2015) – Fourth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked sixth in this week's Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Top 20 poll and seventh in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II poll, opens its record 17th postseason appearance as it hosts fifth-seeded and No. 17/19 Bentley University for quarterfinal round action of the 2015 Northeast-10 Conference Women's Lacrosse Tournament at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Admission for tomorrow night's game is $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for children and senior citizens and $1.00 for students from participating teams with valid ID. The first 100 Stonehill students will be admitted free of charge, courtesy the Office of Student Affairs, when presenting their HillCard at the ticket gate. Live stats can be followed via www.stonehillskyhawks.com.
Stonehill, which has appeared in all 17 NE-10 Tournaments since the Conference started sponsoring the event in 1999, has reached at least the semifinal round 16 straight years. The Skyhawks have won an NE-10 record nine championships – doing so consecutively from 2000 through 2008, but have not advanced to the final since 2010. Bentley (10-5, 9-4 NE-10) is making its 14th NE-10 Tournament appearance and seeks its first championship, having reached the semifinals six times and finals twice. The Falcons last NE-10 championship appearance came in 2007 when they were edged by Stonehill, 9-7. The winner of tomorrow night's quarterfinal round, which has been expanded to eight teams this year, will advance to Saturday's semifinal round to be played at the site of the highest remaining seed to play the winner of Wednesday's matchup between top-seeded and No. 2-ranked Adelphi University (15-1, 12-1 NE-10) and eighth-seeded Saint Michael's College (6-8, 6-7 NE-10) being played on Long Island tomorrow at 7 p.m. The NE-10 Championship will be decided on Sunday at the site of the highest remaining seed of the semifinal round at 1 p.m.
Senior Brooke Rudden has dished out the second-most assists in program history this season. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)
Stonehill, ranked third in last week's NCAA Division II North Regional rankings, enters the postseason having split its six April contests after opening the season with 12 wins for the first time since 2007. The Skyhawks gave their NCAA Tournament hopes a huge boost with an 8-7 triumph over No. 9/10 LIU Post at W.B. Mason Stadium on Saturday. Stonehill is ranked fourth in the Northeast-10 for both scoring offense (13.3 goals per game) and team goals against average (7.54), while ranking third for shooting percentage (.501) and draw controls and fifth for caused turnovers.
Stonehill head coach Katie Conover '03 brings an experienced group into the postseason with nine seniors all playing key roles this season. Senior Ashley Armstrong (Northborough, Massachusetts/Algonquin Regional), the program's career saves leader with 510, enters postseason play a win shy of matching Stonehill's career record of 47 set by Hall of Famer Lauren Stone '06. Armstrong has played all 1,026 minutes in the Skyhawks goal this season and ranks fourth among NE-10 leaders with a 7.54 goals against average and .480 save percentage, averaging 7.0 saves per game.
Senior Grace Hazelwood (West Simsbury, Connecticut/West Simsbury), junior Remi DiRe (Winchester, Massachusetts/Winchester), sophomore Cara Corvino (Dorset, Vermont/Burr and Burton Academy) and freshman Kelly Healey (Westwood, Massachusetts/Westwood) provide defensive protection for Armstrong. Corvino is second on the team with 18 caused turnovers and third with 34 ground balls, while DiRe has contributed nine caused turnovers and 28 ground balls.
Senior Brooke Rudden (Hopkinton, Massachusetts/Hopkinton), an All-Northeast-10 selection a year ago, is Stonehill's top playmaker with a team-high 58 points (9th NE-10) on 16 goals and a team-best 42 assists (4th), which is the second-highest assist total in program history. She also ranks sixth all-time in program history with 91 career assists. Classmate and co-captain Lizzie Lane (Sandwich, Massachusetts/Bishop Stang) leads the Skyhawks with 35 goals (16th), while adding seven assists for 42 points to go with a team-high 42 ground balls (12th) and 24 caused turnovers (8th) with 51 draw controls (12th).
Senior Lizzie Lane leads the Skyhawks in ground balls and caused turnovers. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)
Senior co-captain Cassandra McGill (Westborough, Massachusetts/Westborough) is second on the team in scoring with 47 points (17th), having posted 29 goals and 18 assists (9th), while sophomore Elizabeth Vetter (Great River, New York/East Islip) has contributed 33 goals and three assists for 36 points with a team-high 66 draw controls (6th).
Bentley enters the postseason winners of its last two and six of seven after a 17-3 win against Merrimack College on Saturday. The Falcons rank sixth in the NE-10 with an 11.05 team goals against average and seventh in scoring average (12.20 gpg). Sophomore Lauren Ochs (Rochester, New York/Irondequiot) has also played every minute in goal this season for Bentley, posting an 11.05 GAA and .457 save percentage with 9.1 saves per game in 885-minutes over 15 games.
Senior Jackie Brown (Brookfield, Connecticut/Brookfield) leads Bentley with 46 points with a team-high 40 goals to go with six assists, while adding 28 ground balls and a team-best 16 caused turnovers. Junior Kelsey Howard (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) has added 21 goals and 14 assists for 35 points with 28 ground balls, 11 draw controls and 13 caused turnovers, while sophomore Taylor Lunden (Agawam, Massachusetts/Agawam) has dished out a team-high 16 assists to go with 16 goals for 32 points.
Tomorrow night marks the 25th meeting all-time between these two programs, the fourth in postseason play, all of which have come in the NE-10 Tournament. Stonehill holds a commanding 24-1 advantage in the all-time series which dates back to 1999, winning all three previous NE-10 Tournament matchups, the last of which came with the 9-7 victory in the 2007 NE-10 title game. The Skyhawks posted their 19th straight win in the all-time series dating back to April 2000 with their 15-8 triumph in the regular season meeting between the two in Davenport, Florida, back on March 10.
Armstrong posted a season-high ten saves in the Stonehill goal to preserve the Skyhawks win against Bentley in March. The Skyhawks finished with a 32-22 advantage in shots, but overcame a 15-10 deficit on draw controls by forcing 20 Bentley turnovers, while committing just 12 themselves. McGill paced the Stonehill attack with a five point night on three goals and two assists, while sophomore Kiki Ryan (Salem, Connecticut/East Lyme) scored a career-high four goals. Ochs posted 11 saves in the Bentley goal, while junior Erin O'Connor (Longmeadow, Massachusetts/Longmeadow) led the Falcons with three goals, while Howard potted a pair of goals to go with two draw controls, four ground balls and three caused turnovers.
2015 Northeast-10 Conference
Women's Lacrosse Tournament
Wednesday, April 29
#7 Assumption (10-7, 6-7 NE-10) at #2 Le Moyne (15-2, 12-1 NE-10), 2 p.m.
#6 Saint Anselm (8-7, 7-6 NE-10) at #3 New Haven (14-2, 11-2 NE-10), 7 p.m.
#8 Saint Michael's (6-8, 6-7 NE-10) at #1 Adelphi (15-1, 12-1 NE-10), 7 p.m.
#5 Bentley (10-5, 9-4 NE-10) at #4 Stonehill (14-3, 10-3 NE-10), 7 p.m.
Semifinals (hosted by highest remaining seed)
Saturday, May 2
St. Anselm/New Haven winner vs. Assumption/Le Moyne winner, TBA
Bentley/Stonehill winner vs. St. Michael's/Adelphi winner, TBA
Championship (at site of highest remaining seed in the semifinals)
Sunday, May 3
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.