STANDISH, Maine – Top-seeded Saint Joseph's College (12-6, 5-1 GNAC) will host #2 Simmons College (11-7, 5-1 GNAC) in the 2016 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Field Hockey Championship game at 3:00 PM Saturday at Deering Memorial Stadium in Portland.
Saturday, October 29 - First Round
Game 1: #4 Lasell 2, #5 Mount Ida 1
Game 2: #3 Johnson & Wales 1, #6 Anna Maria 0
Wednesday, November 2 - Semifinals
Game 3: #1 Saint Joseph's 3, #4 Lasell 1
Game 4: #2 Simmons 3, #3 Johnson & Wales 0
Saturday, November 5 - Final
Game 5: #2 Simmons @ #1 Saint Joseph's – 3:00 PM (Deering Memorial Stadium)
FACTS & FIGURES:
- St. Joe's ranks as the conference leader in goals against average (0.99) and defensive saves (9) and is second in shots (280), shots per game (15.6), assists (28), and penalty corners (158)
- The Monks outscored conference opponents by an 18-4 margin this fall with three shutouts in six GNAC regular-season contests
- Saint Joseph's won eight-consecutive games and defeated opponents by an aggregate 33-1 score during the month of October
- The Monks' winning streak ended with a 1-0 overtime loss at the hands of Plymouth State University on October 26th
- Simmons leads the conference in shots on goal percentage (75%) and is tied for the conference lead in defensive saves (9) while ranking second in shot percentage (0.20), shots on goal (201) and penalty strokes (2-3)
- The Sharks enter the GNAC Championship having won four of their last five games by an aggregate 19-3 score
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
- Freshman forward Libby Pomerleau (Limerick, Maine) is the top freshman scorer in the GNAC and leads the Monks in goals (14), assists (10), points (38) and game-winning goals (6) and has been selected as the GNAC Rookie of the Week three times this fall
- Senior forward Kelsey Dumond (Lewiston, Maine), a two-time All-Conference honoree, is second on the squad in goals (9), assists (7), and points (25)
- Junior midfielder Elyse Caiazzo (Scarborough, Maine/Cheverus) has contributed five goals and four assists for 14 total points with three game clinchers
- Sophomore Kara Kelly (York, Maine) has enjoyed a breakout season with five goals and three assists
- Sophomore defender Kayla Veilleux (Sabattus, Maine) leads the conference with five defensive saves
- Junior forward Julie Saltamartini (East Hampstead, N.H.), the 2014 GNAC Rookie of the Year and 2015 GNAC Offensive Player of the Year, leads the Sharks in goals (20) and points (45) and ranks second in the conference in both categories
- Junior forward Sammy Rondeau (Franklin, Mass.) is second on the squad in goals (9) and points (23)
- Freshman forward Olivia Trull (Lowell, Mass.) has scored six goals with 13 total points while senior forward Jenna Gagnon (Waterville, Maine) has contributed three goals and five assists for 11 points
Saint Joseph's: Sophomore Megan Baker (Gorham, Maine) is 11-6 with six shutouts and sports a 1.03 goals against average with a .750 save percentage in 1084 minutes between the pipes. She leads the conference in goals against average, fewest goals allowed (16), and shutouts and was named as the GNAC Goalkeeper of the Week on October 10th.
Simmons: Senior Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H.) is 8-7 with three shutouts and carries a 1.33 goals against average into the GNAC Championship. She has allowed 20 goals with 79 saves for a .798 save percentage, the top mark in the conference. Rastello also ranks second in the GNAC in fewest goals allowed, goals against average, and shutouts and was chosen as the GNAC Goalkeeper of the Week on September 26th
ATTITUDE REFLECTS LEADERSHIP:
Saint Joseph's Head Coach Rupert Lewis, in his 12th season on the SJC sideline, is 139-80 (.635) overall with a 55-10 (.846) record in conference play during his collegiate career. He is far and away the program's most successful skipper and has garnered a pair of Coach of the Year honors for his efforts.
When Coach Lewis assumed control of the SJC program in the fall of 2005, he inherited a team that owned a 48-107 (.310) record with one winning season in 10 years as an NCAA DIII varsity sport. In his time at Saint Joseph's, the Monks have enjoyed 10 winning seasons and the program's all-time record now stands at an even .500 winning percentage (187-187).
In seven seasons as the Sharks' Head Coach, Amanda Maxwell owns a 70-62 (.530) record and has guided her program to GNAC Championships in each of the last two seasons. For her efforts, she has been selected as the conference coach of the year twice in the last three seasons.
THE LAST TIME WE MET:
Saint Joseph's blanked Simmons by a 3-0 score at Mercy Field on October 8th as Pomerleau netted all three of the Monks' goals and Baker posted seven saves in the shutout performance. St. Joe's held the lead in shots (10-6) and penalty corners (13-3) while Simmons owned an 8-4 advantage in shots on goal in the conference contest.
Saint Joseph's is 15-8 in the history of the series with Simmons College, a team the Monks have outscored by an aggregate 28-11 margin in 11 meetings since the two teams became conference (NAC) foes in 2008.
The Monks have never missed the postseason in nine years as a member of a conference and this year's regular season crown counts as the team's fourth since 2008. Saint Joseph's has advanced to the conference championship game five times in the last eight years but has fallen short each time with four being decided by one goal and two either coming in overtime or penalty strokes
The Sharks have claimed the first two GNAC Field Hockey Championship titles (GNAC began sponsoring the sport in 2014) with a 3-1 win over Anna Maria College in the 2014 title game and a 1-0 triumph over Saint Joseph's in Boston last fall.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.