FIELD HOCKEY SET TO TAKE ON UMASS IN NCAA PLAY-IN
Wednesday, November 9, 2016 | 1 p.m.
Massachusetts (13-7, 6-2 Atlantic 10) vs. Monmouth (17-2, 6-0 MAAC)
Live Stats | MDN Online Broadcast (Free)
Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students, children and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased at the gate (cash only).
Fans attending the NCAA Field Hockey Play-In game are directed to park in Monmouth University’s parking lot numbered 25, while available. Additional parking will be available in lots 13, 14 and 15. (University Map)
Monmouth, the top seed in the MAAC Championships, needed double overtime in both the semifinals and the finals to earn its second trip in three years to the Big Dance. The Hawks bested Rider, 3-2, on Friday on Kelly Hanna’s golden goal to advance to Championship Sunday. Georgia Garden Bachop’s deflection with 10 seconds left in regulation forced the extra sessions against Fairfield in the title game where senior Alyssa Ercolino deflected in the championship-clinching goal 3:48 into the second extra period. The Blue and White is seeking its first win in the NCAA Tournament.
UMass took down top-seeded Saint Joseph’s in the Atlantic 10 finals to earn its way back to the NCAA Tournament. It marks the 26th NCAA Tournament appearance for the Minutewomen in program history and the third in the previous four seasons. UMass, which entered the A-10 Tournament as the three seed, was the only team to defeat the Hawks from Philly this season as Nicole Miller scored in the 67th minute to propel Minutewomen to a 2-1 victory. The Maroon and White are 7-1 all-time in play-in round action.
Scouting the Minutewomen
UMass enters the NCAA Tournament 13-7 overall after playing a brutally challenging slate this season, with road contests at No. 1 UConn, No. 9 Boston College, home games against the Huskies when they were ranked fourth and No. 18 Stanford to go along with neutral site tilts with No. 16 Northwestern and No. 20 Saint Joseph’s. UMass went 2-4 in those contests.
Sarah Hawkshaw leads six Minutewomen in double-digit points this season. The junior midfielder has 14 goals and four assists for her team-leading 32 points, while NFHCA Senior Game selection Izzie Delario and Nicole Miller each have 26 points and three game-winning goals to their credit. Melanie Kreusch, the league’s defensive player of the year, has six markers and Celina Hocks, Nicole Kuerzi and Grace Horgan all have four goals.
Emily Haszard backstops UMass’ defense starting all 20 games in cage. The redshirt junior has a 1.92 goals average and .638 save percentage to go along with four shutouts.
- Monmouth, the 2016 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champions, makes its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament all-time.
- Alyssa Ercolino, Kelly Hanna and Julie Laszlo were named to the All-MAAC Championship team, while Casey Hanna was tabbed as the Most Valuable Player.
- In its 20th year of Division I Field Hockey, Monmouth captured the program’s fourth regular season championship and made its 12th league postseason appearance. The Hawks finished the regular season with the program’s best winning percentage (.882) and an unblemished conference record for the first time in their history.
- MU enters the game with UMass ranked top 10 nationally in 10 categories including assists per game (9th – 2.89), defensive saves (3rd – 15), goals against average (2nd – 1.12), goals per game (10th – 3.26), penalty corners per game (2nd – 9.05), points per game (10th – 9.42), save percentage (2nd - .794), scoring margin (7th – 2.04), shutouts per game (1st - .53) and winning percentage (.895).
- Monmouth finished non-league play with the best non-conference record in program history at 9-2 (.818), which eclipses the previous best of 8-3 (.727) set in 2010. It is the fourth time the Hawks have recorded a winning non-league record, with each occurrence coming during Figlio’s tenure.
- Over the six-game MAAC slate, the Hawks outscored league opponents, 26-2, and outshot their foes, 111-34.
- It is the fifth time in program history and fourth time under Figlio that MU has 10 or more wins, while the Hawks are a perfect 11-0 record on So Sweet A Cat Field this season.
- The Hawks’ defense, backstopped by MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year Christen Piersanti, recorded 10 shutouts which set the new program single-season record, besting the previous mark of six set in 2010.
- Monmouth finished the season 3-0 against the Patriot League, outscoring Lehigh (5-0), Lafayette (3-0), and Bucknell (2-0), 10-0. The Hawks have won six of the last seven meetings with the Mountain Hawks, while the win over the Leopards (who defeated No. 9 Boston U) was their first since their inaugural Division I season (1997). The win over the Bison is the first since 2004.
- Monmouth captured at least one MAAC Player of the Week in nine of the 10 weeks of the season, totaling 17 total accolades. Julie Laszlo led the way with seven weekly awards, capturing five defensive honors and a pair of offensive player of the week nods. Freshman Josephine van der Hoop landed four Rookie of the Week accolades, while Alyssa Ercolino was the offensive player of the week on three occasions. Meg Donahue earned two offensive accolades and Christen Piersanti was the defender of the week, while also garnering NFHCA National Player of the Week Honorable Mention for her efforts in cage back in the second week.
- In its history, Monmouth has had 81 athletes earn all-league honors, while being home to five players of the year (Gina Chico-2000 [NEC], Michelle Pieczynski- 2012 [NEC], Alex Carroll-2013 [MAAC], Trish O’Dwyer-2014 [MAAC], Julie Laszlo-2016 [MAAC]), three offensive players of the year (Michelle Pieczynski-2012 [NEC], Trish O’Dwyer-2014 [MAAC], Alyssa Ercolino-2016 [MAAC]), three defensive players of the year (Alex Carroll - 2013 [MAAC], Casey Hanna-2014, 2015 [MAAC], Julie Laszlo-2016 [MAAC]), two rookies of the year (Kellie Nurko – 1999 [NEC], Meg Donahue-2014 [MAAC]), one goaltender of the year (Christen Piersanti – 2015, 2016 [MAAC]) and two coach of the year recipients (Monica Morgan Levy – 1999, 2000 [NEC], Carli Figlio – 2010 [NEC], 2014 [MAAC], 2016 [MAAC]).
- Seniors Casey Hanna and Alyssa Ercolino have been selected to participate in the 2016 Victory Sports Tours/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Senior Game. The duo joins Michelle Pieczynski (2012) as the only Monmouth representatives to compete at the annual event.
All-Time Series Records
Monmouth vs. UMass
• All-time: First Meeting
• Postseason: First Meeting
The winner will advance to take on Maryland which earned the second national seed in this year’s tournament. The game from College Park, MD is slated for 11:30 a.m.