#5 Stonehill Seeks Second NE-10 Title at #3 LIU Post

Junior All-American Emily Sideris has been red hot of late for the Skyhawks with 15 points over the last five games, including a goal and two assists in Friday night's semifinal win. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

3rd-seeded Skyhawks and top-seeded Pioneers battle for NE-10 Championship Sunday at 1 p.m. 

EASTON, Mass. (November 9, 2013) – Third-seeded Stonehill College, ranked fifth in this week's week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll and second in the NCAA Division II North Regional rankings, and top-seeded and 3rd-ranked LIU Post are set to clash for the Northeast-10 Conference Championship at Hickox Field in Brookville, N.Y., on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for senior citizens and children and $1.00 for students of participating institutions with a valid ID. The game will be webcast live free of charge via www.northeast10.tv, with live stats also linked through www.stonehillskyhawks.com.

Stonehill (18-2, 8-2 NE-10) reached the semifinals with a 3-2 triumph over second-seeded and 7th-ranked Merrimack College (13-5, 9-1 NE-10) in North Andover, Mass., on Friday. Junior All-American Emily Sideris (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) had a hand in all three Skyhawk goals with a goal and two assists, while sophomore Erika Kelly (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) netted a pair of markers. LIU Post (19-0, 10-0 NE-10) rolled to a 5-0 decision over fourth-seeded Adelphi University (11-9, 5-5 NE-10) in their semifinal. Sophomore Keliann Margiotta (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township) led the Pioneers with seven points on three goals and an assist. Stonehill claimed a 5-0 win over sixth-seeded Southern Connecticut State University (5-14, 4-6 NE-10) in Tuesday's first round, while LIU Post earned a first round bye as the top seed.

Stonehill, participating in its 16th NE-10 Tournament, is making its fifth appearance in the NE-10 Championship game – the third in head coach Shelly Morris' six years at the helm. The Skyhawks, which likely clinched at least the No. 2 seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament with yesterday's win, won their lone NE-10 Tournament Championship in 2005, while also appearing in the title game in 2006, 2009 and 2010.

Sunday's Championship will feature the top three scorers in the NE-10, including Erika Kelly with a Division II-best 36 goals this season. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Stonehill, which enters tomorrow's game a win shy of the program record of 19 set in 2005, ranks second in the NE-10 for scoring (4th nationally) with 3.9 goals per game, while ranking fourth with a 1.67 team goals against average (8th) and third with 10.3 penalty corners per game (5th). The Skyhawks have the third-best winning percentage in NCAA Division II and also rank sixth nationally for scoring margin (+2.1 goals per game).

Kelly, a unanimous first team All-Northeast-10 selection, leads Stonehill with her team-leading and program-record 74 points this season, which ranks second in the NE-10 and nationally and is the third-highest single-season total in Conference history. She leads Division II with her program and NE-10 record 36 goals to go with a pair of assists, posting a Conference-high ten gamewinning goals and a school-record six hat tricks this fall. Kelly is four goals shy of the NCAA Division II single-season record of 40 set by Jamie Vanartsdalen from Bloomsburg (Pa.) University in 2008 and she has recorded at least one point in 17 of the 19 games she has played this fall.

Senior Kelly Gouveia (Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth) is second on the team with 26 points (11th NE-10) on ten goals (11th) and six assists, having scored her second gamewinning goal of the year in Tuesday night's first round win. Sophomore Lauren Giordano (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) has added ten goals (11th) and three assists for 23 points (15th) in her first season for the Skyhawks, while senior All-American Devin Ingersoll (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) has dished out a team-high 11 assists (4th/11th nationally) to go with three goals, two gamewinners, for 17 points.

Sideris has been hot of late, posting 15 points with five goals and five assists over Stonehill's last four games and recorded a goal in seven of their last nine games. She has multiple points and at least a goal in the Skyhawks last three games and has totaled eight goals and four assists for 20 points this fall..

Senior Gina Sheehan, the NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year, will look to be up to task against the top offense in the country on Sunday. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Junior Elizabeth Genovese (Street, Md./North Harford) has played all but 56:37 in the Stonehill cage this season and posted a 1.68 goals against average (5th NE-10/9th nationally) and .756 save percentage with 5.1 saves per game (4th/18th) and one shutout in 1,372:38 (2nd NE-10) over 20 games. Senior Gina Sheehan (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury), the NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year, and classmates Emily Coholan (South Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth) and Chelsea Emery (New Hampton, N.H./Tilton School) spearhead the defense in front of Genovese.

LIU Post, which looks to complete the NE-10 regular season and tournament championship double in its first season in the Conference since moving over from an affiliation with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), boasts the top offense and defense in the league this season. The Pioneers are averaging a Division II-best 4.6 goals per game, ranking second nationally with an NE-10 low 0.83 team goals against average, while averaging a league-high 12.9 penalty corners per game (3rd nationally). LIU Post boasts the top scoring margin in the country (+3.79) and is one of two remaining unbeaten teams in Division II.

With Kelly from Stonehill, Sunday will feature the top three scorers in the Northeast-10 as senior Carlee Dragon (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan), the NE-10 Player of the Year, leads Division II with her Conference-record 77 points on 31 goals and league-best 15 assists this season. She is second only to Kelly among NE-10 and Division II leaders for goals scored and has potted six gamewinning goals this season. Margiotta ranks third in the NE-10 and Division II behind Dragon and Kelly with 63 points on 24 goals, including five gamewinners, and 15 assists.

Graduate student Dani Crouse (Westville, South Africa) has dished out 14 assists to go with five goals for 24 points, with two gamewinners and a pair of defensive saves. Freshman Meredith Stocklin (Mount Laurel, N.J./Paul VI) has seen the majority of work in the LIU Post cage in her first collegiate season. She has posted an NE-10 low 0.82 goals against average and .792 save percentage with 2.9 saves per game and four shutouts in 848:45 over 14 games.

While Sunday will mark the first ever postseason encounter between these two programs, LIU Post claimed a 4-3 overtime triumph against Stonehill in their lone regular season meeting just last Saturday to wrap up the NE-10 regular season title and top-seed for the Conference Tournament. Margiotta scored a pair of goals for the Pioneers, including the game winner 3:34 into overtime. Sideris led the Skyhawks with two first half goals.

Both teams, as well as Merrimack, are expected to earn NCAA Tournament bids on Monday, but the top seed and bye into the National Semifinals in Virginia Beach, Va., could be on the line as they are ranked first and second in the region.

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2013 Northeast-10 Conference
Field Hockey Championships

First Round
Tuesday, November 5 (at higher seeds)

#4 Adelphi 2, #5 Bentley 1 (OT)
#3 Stonehill 5, #6 Southern Connecticut State 0 

Friday, November 8 (at higher seeds)

#1 LIU Post 5, #4 Adelphi 0
#3 Stonehill 3, #2 Merrimack 2 

Sunday, November 10 (at higher seed)

#3 Stonehill (18-2, 8-2 NE-10) at #1 LIU Post (19-0, 10-0 NE-10), 1 p.m.