NCAA Tournament Preview: Saint Joseph's @ Endicott College

NCAA Tournament Preview: Saint Joseph's @ Endicott College

STANDISH, Maine – Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Champion Saint Joseph's College (19-1, 7-0 GNAC) will play at Endicott College (17-4, 12-0 CCC), the 2018 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Champion, in the first round of the NCAA DIII Field Hockey Tournament at 6:00 PM on Wednesday.

The winner of Wednesday's game will travel to Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania on Saturday to take on #1 Messiah College (19-0) in an 11:00 AM start.

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

Saint Joseph's, the top seed in the 2018 GNAC Tournament, toppled second-seeded Lasell College, 4-0, in the conference championship at the SJC Athletics Complex on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Monks earned the GNAC's automatic national tournament qualifier and will be making their third-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

Top-seeded Endicott tipped #2 University of New England, 1-0, in the CCC Championship in Beverly on Saturday. The Gulls broke a 0-0 stalemate with just over six minutes remaining to earn their third conference championship – and first since 2012 – and will be hosting an NCAA Tournament tilt for the first time in program history on Wednesday.

Both teams received votes in this week's Penn Monto/NFHCA Coaches Poll, as Saint Joseph's garnered 59 points and Endicott notched 51 points. The Monks have been listed in the "others receiving votes" section of hte national poll for four-consecutive weeks. 

WHAT WE KNOW

Saint Joseph's:

  • The Monks are enjoying the finest season in program history and have set new SJC single-season records for wins, goals (94), assists (75), points (263), shots (477), and shutouts (13)
  • Saint Joseph's ranks among the NCAA DIII leaders in assists per game (1st, 3.70), points per game (2nd, 13.10), penalty corners per game (2nd, 14.45), scoring margin (2nd, 4.10), winning percentage (3rd, .950), goals per game (4th, 4.70), shutouts per game (5th, 0.63), save percentage (7th, .855), and goals-against average (7th, 0.54)
  • St. Joe's heads into the NCAA Tournament riding a 12-game winning streak – the longest win string in program history
  • The Monks have outscored opponents by a 94-11 margin this fall
  • The SJC roster features seven seniors with three juniors, five sophomores, and 13 freshmen

Endicott:

  • The Gulls rank among the national leaders in goals per game (2nd, 4.86), points per game (4th, 12.19), scoring margin (5th, 3.38), and assists per game (2.48)
  • Endicott has won seven of the last eight games by an aggregate 42-10 margin
  • The EC roster is comprised of two seniors, four juniors, nine sophomores, and eight freshmen

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Saint Joseph's:

  • Freshman forward Emma Rutledge (Alfred, Maine), the 2018 GNAC Rookie of the Year, leads the team in points (49), shots (99) and shots on goal (72) and ranks second on the squad in goals (17) and assists (15)
  • Junior forward Libby Pomerleau (Limerick, Maine), the two-time GNAC Offensive Player of the Year, leads the Monks in goals (20) and game-winners (5) and ranks second on the team in points (46), shots (77), and shots on goal (53); with two goals in the GNAC Championship on Sunday, she broke the Monks' career goals record and now has 58 goals in 62 games over three seasons
  • Sophomore midfielder Alexandra Belaire (Greene, Maine) is in the midst of a breakout season and ranks third on the team in goals (12), assists (10), points (34), shots (56), and shots on goal (38)
  • Senior Arianna Kahler (Lisbon Falls, Maine) has scored seven goals with a team-record 16 assists for 30 total points this fall

Endicott:

  • Junior Kristen McCarthy (Danvers, Mass.), the CCC Co-Offensive Player of the Year, is enjoying an epic season with 29 goals and 17 assists for 75 total points and ranks third nationally in goals per game (1.38) and points per game (3.57)
  • Freshman Addi Williams (Pittsfield, Maine), a Second Team All-CCC selection, is second on the team with 22 goals and 47 points
  • Sophomore Jaylin Grabau (Lynnfield, Mass.) has contributed 13 goals and five assists for 31 total points
  • Freshman Sydney Poulin (Watertown, Mass.), the 2018 CCC Rookie of the Year, rounds out the Gulls' top scorers with 10 goals and 11 assists for 31 total points

KEEPER COMPARISON:

Saint Joseph's: Senior Megan Baker (Gorham, Maine), the 2018 GNAC Goalkeeper of the Year, has posted a 0.45 goals-against average and an .879 save percentage with 58 saves and eight goals allowed in 1,235 minutes. The four-year starter currently ranks second in NCAA DIII Field Hockey in save percentage and fourth in goals-against average and – among all active NCAA DIII keepers – ranks second in career shutouts percentage (.393), fourth in goals-against average (0.85) and victories (57), and seventh in minutes (5,031).

Endicott: Sophomore Taylor Farrin (Danvers, Mass.), a two-time First Team All-Conference selection, is 16-4 with nine shutouts, a 1.49 goals-against average, and a .791 save percentage after yielding 29 goals with 110 saves in 1,363 minutes this season. She has tallied double-digit save totals in four different games this fall with a season-high 15 stops in a loss to Connecticut College on October 8th.

ATTITUDE REFLECTS LEADERSHIP:

Saint Joseph's Head Coach Rupert Lewis, in his 14th season as the Monks' skipper, owns a stellar 175-88 (.665) career record and is the most successful coach in program history. The 2018 GNAC Coach of the Year has guided the Monks to three-consecutive GNAC Championships (2016, 2017, 2018) and helped the Royal Blue advance to the NCAA 'Sweet 16' with an opening round victory over Montclair State University, which was ranked 10th nationally at the time, in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

Endicott Head Coach Jodi Cipolla is in her 12th season at the helm for the Gulls and has a 160-87 (.648) career record. She has guided her program to three CCC Championships (2011, 2012, 2018) and been selected as the CCC Coach of the Year on three occasions (2008, 2012, 2017).

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING:

Saint Joseph's is 3-11 all-time versus Endicott College, a team the Monks have not played since suffering a 3-1 loss at the hands of the Gulls in Standish on September 25th, 2012. The Monks' three wins came in 2009 (2-0), 2000 (4-2), and 1998 (3-2).

COMMON FOES:

The Monks and Gulls share just one common opponent: Gordon College. St. Joe's toppled the Fighting Scots by a 7-0 margin in Standish on September 10th while Endicott cruised past their conference counterparts by 8-0 and 5-1 scores on September 13th and October 6th, respectively.

 

#GOMONKS

 

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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.