STANDISH, Maine – Top seeded Saint Joseph's College (16-3, 8-0 GNAC) will host #5 Regis College (8-10, 4-4 GNAC) in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Field Hockey Tournament Semifinal game at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, November 6th.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
After claiming the top seed in the GNAC Tournament for the fourth time in the last six seasons, Saint Joseph's earned a first-round bye.
Regis visited #3 Anna Maria College in a tourney quarterfinal and defeated the AMCATS by a 1-0 score in Paxton on Saturday, November 2nd.
The Pride managed to break through in the second quarter after Sheridan Blaha collected the ball in open space and broke towards the end line. Blaha then lofted a shot over the shoulder of the goalkeeper into the upper right corner of the net for her 17th goal of the season.
Wednesday's winner advances to the GNAC Championship and will face the winner of the GNAC's other semifinal, #2 Lasell / #3 Simmons University, which will be played at 2:30 PM on Wednesday.
The winner of the GNAC Championship game, set to be played at the site of the highest remaining seed on Saturday, November 9th, earns an automatic berth into the 2019 NCAA DIII Field Hockey Championship, which begins on November 13th.
First Round - Saturday, November 2 (at high seeds)
Match 1: #5 Regis def. #4 Anna Maria, 1-0
Match 2: #3 Simmons def. #6 JWU, 4-3
Semifinals - Wednesday, November 6 (at high seeds)
Match 3: #5 Regis vs. #1 Saint Joseph's Maine – 7:00PM
Match 4: #3 Simmons vs. #2 Lasell - 2:30 PM
Championship - Saturday, November 9
Match 5: At highest remaining seed
FACTS & FIGURES:
- Including tournament games, the Monks have not lost to a GNAC team since 2017, a streak of 21 games – the team's last loss versus a conference foe was a 2-1 setback at Lasell on October 7th, 2017
- The Monks currently rank first in the conference in goals scored (31), shots (194), shots on goals (136), shots-per game (24.3), assists (24), and penalty corners (113)
- Saint Joseph's is 9-1 at the SJC Athletics Complex this fall with the lone loss being a 1-0 setback at the hands of non-conference opponent Babson College
- All three of the Monks' losses this fall have come at the hands of nationally ranked opponents - #9 Kean University, #15 Babson, and #19 Colby College
- The Pride currently rank third in the GNAC in shots (243), shots per game (13.5), penalty corners (145), and defensive saves (6)
- Regis is 5-5 on the road this season
- The Pride head into the semifinal riding a five-game undefeated streak with all five matches being versus GNAC opponents
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
- Sophomore Emma Rutledge (Alfred, Maine) leads the team in goals (12), assists (7), points (31), and shots (60)
- Junior Alexandra Belaire (Greene, Maine) leads the conference in assists (10) and has six goals (three game-winners) for a total of 22 points
- Senior Libby Pomerleau (Limerick, Maine) is a two-time GNAC Player of the Year honoree and has tallied six goals and five assists for 17 total points
- Freshman Sheridan Blaha (Waltham, Mass.) leads the GNAC in game-winners (4) and ranks second in goals (17) and points (35) and third in shots (65)
- Jamie Juskiewicz (Gorham, Maine) a sophomore forward with five goals and two assists for twelve points
- Senior Ashley Chipman (Stoughton, Mass.) and freshman Nora Buck (Shawmut, Maine) have contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively
- SJC junior goalkeeper Alexandria Simpson (Pascoag, R.I.) leads the conference in goals-against average (1.13) and victories (15) and third in minutes (1,0007:14), shutouts (4), and save percentage (.782)
- Regis junior Hope Winkin (Winslow, Maine) leads the conference in shutouts (6) and is fourth in saves (84) and fifth in goals-against average (1.84)
ATTITUDE REFLECTS LEADERSHIP:
Saint Joseph's Head Coach Rupert Lewis, now in his 15th season at the helm, is 191-92 (.675) overall as the Monks' skipper. The four-time conference Coach of the Year honoree has led the Monks to three-consecutive GNAC Championships (2016, 2017, 2018) with three NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2016, Saint Joseph's advanced to the NCAA 'Sweet 16' with an opening round victory over Montclair State University, which was ranked 10th nationally at the time.
Annie Villare is in her second season as head coach of the Pride field hockey program. In 2018, she oversaw a competitive program, as seven of the Pride's matches were decided by just one goal, including three overtime contests.
THE LAST TIME WE MET:
Saint Joseph's won 4-1 at home on Saturday, September 14th.
Saint Joseph's is 7-4 all-time versus Regis College.