STANDISH, Maine – #2 Saint Joseph's College (14-5, 5-1 GNAC) will play at #1 Lasell College (16-3, 7-0 GNAC) in the 2017 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Field Hockey Championship on Saturday at 12:00 PM.
Saturday, October 28 - First Round
Game 1: #5 Mount Ida 1, #4 Johnson & Wales 0 | BOX
Game 2: #3 Simmons 8, #6 Anna Maria 0 | BOX
Wednesday, November 1 - Semifinals
Game 3: #1 Lasell 1, #5 Mount Ida 0
Game 4: #2 Saint Joseph's of Maine 5, #3 Simmons 0
Saturday, November 4 - Final
Game 5: #2 Saint Joseph's of Maine at #1 Lasell - 12:00 PM
The winner of the GNAC Championship game earns an automatic berth into the 2017 NCAA DIII Field Hockey Championship, which begins on Wednesday, November 8th.
LAST TIME OUT:
Saint Joseph's cruised past Simmons College, 5-0, in a GNAC Semifinal contest on Wednesday. Sophomore Libby Pomerleau (Limerick, Maine) scored two goals with an assist while Kara Kelly (York, Maine), Hayley Winslow (Falmouth, Maine), and Kayla Kelly (York, Maine) tallied a goal apiece to lift the Monks to an easy victory.
Junior keeper Megan Baker (Gorham, Maine) made one save in the triumph while the Monks held considerable advantages in shots (25-4), shots on goal (22-2), and penalty corners (17-5) on the afternoon.
Lasell required extra play to defeat #5 Mount Ida College, 1-0, in other semifinal action on Wednesday, as senior Cailin Flannery (Newton, N.J.) broke a scoreless tie 2:58 minutes into overtime to launch the Lasers into the program's first GNAC Championship game.
Lasell senior netminder Denise Landry (New Milford, Conn.) posted five saves in the victory while the Lasers held the lead in shots (22-13), shots on goal (12-5), and penalty corners (15-11).
FACTS & FIGURES:
- The Monks lead the conference in penalty corners (196), rank second in shots (329), shots on goal (234), shots per game (17.3), SOG percentage (71%), and goals against average (.089), third in defensive saves (6), and fourth in goals (44) and assists (41).
- Including Wednesday's win over Simmons, the Monks have outscored conference opponents by 26-3 margin this fall with six shutouts in eight contests
- Saint Joseph's posted a 7-2 record and defeated opponents by an aggregate 22-6 score during the month of October
- The Lasers lead the GNAC in numerous categories, including goals (75), shots (381), shots per game (20.1), assists (52), goals against average (0.73), and save percentage (.867)
- In seven regular season games, Lasell outscored GNAC opponents by an impressive 31-3 margin, as only Saint Joseph's, Johnson & Wales, and Mount Ida have scored versus the Lasers this fall
- Lasell has allowed three goals in a game just once – a 3-1 loss to #12 MIT on September 14th – this season and leads the nation in save percentage (.867), ranks fourth in scoring margin (3.17), and fifth in assists per game (2.74) and points per game (10.63)
- The Lasers are 10-0 at home this fall and have not suffered a loss at Grellier Fielder since October 15th, 2016
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
- Sophomore forward Libby Pomerleau (Limerick, Maine), the reigning GNAC Rookie of the Year, is one of the elite players in the conference and ranks first in game-winners (7), second in goals (19) and shots (103), and fifth in points (43)
- Junior forward Kayla Kelly (York, Maine) is in the midst of a breakout season with nine goals and three assists for 21 total points
- Senior defender Hayley Winslow (Falmouth, Maine) has shown the ability to step forward and has tallied six goals and two assists for 14 points
- Junior defender Kayla Veilleux (Sabattus, Maine) has three defensive saves
- Sophomore forward Samantha Taylor (Hanover, Mass.) ranks second in the conference in assists (11), third in points (45) and game-winners (5), and fourth in goals (17) and shots (92)
- Senior Cailin Flannery (Newton, N.J.) leads the GNAC in assists (14), is third in shots (95), fourth in points (44) and fifth in clinchers (4)
- Junior forward Nikki Pignone (Ipswich, Mass.) is also having a fine season with 16 goals and four assists for 36 total points
Saint Joseph's: Junior Megan Baker (Gorham, Maine) is 13-5 with seven shutouts and sports a 0.92 goals against average with a .771 save percentage in 1,223 minutes between the pipes. She is second in the conference in goals against average, fewest goals allowed (16), and shutouts and was named as the GNAC Goalkeeper of the Week on September 18th.
Lasell: Senior netminder Denise Landry (New Milford, Conn.) is having a terrific year and leads the conference in GAA (0.86), fewest goals allowed (14), and save percentage (.857). She was named as the GNAC Goalkeeper of the Week on September 25th.
ATTITUDE REFLECTS LEADERSHIP:
Saint Joseph's Head Coach Rupert Lewis, in his 13th season on the SJC sideline, is 155-86 (.643) overall with a 61-11 (.847) record in conference play during his collegiate career. He is far and away the program's most successful skipper and has garnered three 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 11 winning seasons and the program's all-time record now stands at 202-194.
Caitlin Connolly, now in her eighth season as the head coach of the Lasell field hockey team, owns a 70-80 (.467) career record and was selected as the 2015 GNAC Coach of the Year. On top of her impressive field hockey success, she is also the head coach of Lasell women's lacrosse team and guided the Lasers to a GNAC Championship in 2016.
THE LAST TIME WE MET:
Lasell edged Saint Joseph's, 2-1, at Grellier Field on Saturday, October 7th. After a scoreless first half, Pignone and senior Leah Sullivan (Mansfield, Mass.) both scored in the first four minutes of the second stanza while Kayla Kelly tacked on a late goal to account for the final tally.
Baker and sophomore keeper Kaylin Mansir (West Gardiner, Maine) split time in the cage for the Monks and combined to make one save in the loss while Landry recorded seven stops for the Lasers.
Saint Joseph's held advantages in shots (12-6) and shots on goal (8-3) while Lasell posted a 6-3 lead in penalty corners in the conference contest.
Saint Joseph's is 16-4 in the history of the series with Lasell College and had defeated the Lasers in three-consecutive meetings prior to this fall's regular-season setback.
The Monks have outscored the Lasers by an aggregate 50-17 margin in the 20 meetings.
The Monks have never missed the postseason in 10 years as a member of a conference and have advanced to the conference championship game six times in the last nine years. Saint Joseph's edged Simmons, 1-0, in the 2016 GNAC Championship, claiming the first conference crown in program history, and proceeded to defeat #10 Montclair State in the NCAA Tournament last fall.
For the Lasers, last season's 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Mount Ida counted as the program's first postseason triumph since Lasell defeated Castleton State in a North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Tournament first round matchup in 2006.
The Monks and Lasers have met twice before in the postseason, as St. Joe's topped Lasell by a 4-1 score in a NAC quarterfinal on November 2nd, 2013 and posted a 3-1 semifinal win over the Lasers in a 2016 GNAC semifinal last fall.