No. 4 Women’s Soccer Opens NCAA First Round With No. 5 Jefferson

Skyhawks and Jefferson set to face off for first meeting

2019 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship 1st & 2nd Rounds Tournament Central

2019 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Program

The Enterprise – COLLEGE SOCCER: Stonehill women back in NCAA Division II Tournament

Henry leads the team with 23 points, and is one of five Skyhawks with double-digit points (PHOTO BY: Mary Gettens)

EASTON, Mass. (November 21, 2019) – The fourth-seeded Stonehill College women's soccer team will travel to Albany, New York to face the fifth-seeded Jefferson University Friday, November 22 at 3 p.m. in Plumeri Sports Complex in the opening round of the NCAA East Regional bracket, hosted by the College of Saint Rose.

Tickets for the games at Plumeri Sports Complex can be purchased on site for $6.00 (general admission), $3.00 for students with I.D./senior citizens, and $1.00 for children ages 3-12. Children under the age of 2 shall be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Live stats and broadcast will be available for both the Friday and Sunday games.

Stonehill (11-4-4, 8-1-4 NE10) is entering this year's NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history, and third time in four years. This season Stonehill made its 11th NE10 Tournament appearance, falling in the quarterfinal matchup against seventh-seeded Southern Connecticut State University, 1-0, as the third seed and held on to a fourth-seed ranking in the NCAA East Regional.

The Skyhawks made its way to the NCAA Tournament in 2016, hosted by the University of Bridgeport, after defeating Conference rival Pace University in the Northeast-10 Conference championship match for the program's third NE10 Championship. The Skyhawks fell to American International College in the opening round. Last year, in their second appearance the Skyhawks traveled to Bridgeport, Connecticut once again, as the Purple Knights defeated Stonehill 2-1 in the opening round.

Giardina is second on the team with 20 points (PHOTO BY: Mary Gettens)

The Skyhawks reached first United Soccer Coaches National Poll ranking since 2016, in the first week of October. Stonehill reached its highest ranking this season of No. 17, as they also reached its highest East Regional ranking of No. 2 multiple times this season.

Seventh-year head coach Alex Wilson '08 is at the helm of the Skyhawks, as she earned her second NE10 Coach of the Year award this season after earning it in 2016. Stonehill, who has five Skyhawks with double-digit points, saw eight on the All-Conference teams. Juniors Kayla Henry who has 23 points, a career high, with nine goals and five assists and Alex Giardina, with 20 points including nine goals and two assists, lead the team. Henry was one of four named to the first team, while Giardina was one of two on the second team.

Sophomore Camryn Thompsonwho was named 2018 NE10 Rookie of the Year has totaled 17 points this season with eight goals and one assist, as she was selected for the second team. On the defensive side, Stonehill had senior Isabella Collentro and junior Tess Erwin named to the first team, while 2018 Goalkeeper of the Year and senior Kaitlin Brown was named to the third team)

As a team, Stonehill has averaged 2.26 goals per game, scoring 43 goals in 19 total games. The Skyhawks are currently averaging 0.95 goals against average, allowing 19 goals from opponents. They have tallied 24 assists and are 3-for-3 in scoring goals off penalty kicks.

Erwin is part of the Skyhawks' defense that has posted a 0.95 goals against average and she earned her second first team honor (PHOTO BY: Andrew Katsampes)

Jefferson (15-5, 11-1 ECC) is making its third appearance and first since 2015 in the NCAA Tournament, when the Rams lost in the second round. The Rams won its fourth CACC Championship in program history this year as they received the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Jefferson posted 11 shutouts this season in route to 15 wins, which is second in program history.

For its first appearance, Jefferson faced the University of Bridgeport in 2014 in the first round as the Rams fell 2-0 following their second CACC Championship. In 2015, the Rams won the first round of the Tournament following a 0-0 double overtime draw as Jefferson won 2-1 in a shootout against the College of Saint Rose. Jefferson then went on to fall to Adelphi, 1-0, in the second round.

Jefferson is led by first year head coach Socrates Nicolaidis, who was named CACC Coach of the Year, and currently have five Rams with double-digit points. Jefferson saw freshman Laural Erick named CACC Rookie of the Year as she has totaled 32 points with 12 goals and eight assists, as graduate student Erin Tinneany was named CACC Goalkeeper of the Year with her 0.57 goals against average in her 16 games played and started. Three other Rams were named to All-Conference teams, including MaryKate Ulmer who along with Erick has 30 plus points, with 14 goals, a team high, and three assists.

The Rams are currently averaging 3.00 goals per game, scoring 60 goals in 20 total games. As a team, they have averaged 0.80 goals against, allowing 16 goals from opponents. They have also tallied 33 assists this season and are 2-for-4 scoring goals off penalty kicks.

The winner of Friday afternoon's match will advance to Sunday's contest against the winner of game one of top-seeded College of Saint Rose and eighth-seeded Daemen College with a 1:00 p.m. start time.  

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