NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA -For the third time in four seasons, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's field hockey team is in the NCAA Division III Championships.
The Corsairs will open tournament action when they visit Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY Wednesday afternoon. Face-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Wagner Park.
UMass Dartmouth enters Wednesday's match with a 17-5 record and an eight-game winning streak, having last lost at Wesleyan, 3-0 on October 11th. The Corsairs posted a perfect 11-0 record during the Little East Conference regular season, went 6-5 against non-conference opponents, and went 10-1 at home and 7-4 away from Cressy Field. UMass Dartmouth is making their third NCAA appearance, all in the last four years. They lost at Middlebury, 5-1, in 2009, and fell at SUNY Cortland, 3-0, in 2010.
Skidmore went 13-5 and lost at Rochester in overtime, 3-2, in the semi-finals of the Liberty League post-season tournament. The Thorobreds went 4-2 in league play, won four of their last five matches, and are making their sixth consecutive NCAA appearance after appearing in the Liberty League championship match in five of the past six years. They went 10-1 at home this year, losing only to top-seeded Middlebury, 2-1.
"Skidmore is a very good team," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Nicole Castonguay. "They are always recognized in the top 20, and two years ago, they made it to the Final Four at Christopher Newport College. Once you make it there, it speaks a lot for your program."
Castonguay said that the Corsairs' demanding schedule would help them in tournament play. "This is why we put tough teams on our schedule," said Castonguay. "Our biggest challenge will be adjusting to the Astro Turf. Our biggest asset is that we have nothing to lose. If you play good defense, all it takes is a couple of opportunities. Our aim is to get past the first round, which has never been done before."
The winner of Wednesday's match will advance to play at Middlebury this Saturday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH SOCCER