Field Hockey Falls at Skidmore in NCAA Championships

Field Hockey Falls at Skidmore in NCAA Championships

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY-Host Skidmore scored four goals in the second half and pulled away for a 6-0 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's field hockey team in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championships at Wagner Field Wednesday afternoon.


Leading, 2-0 at halftime, the Thoroughbreds doubled their lead when they scored twice within 50 seconds early in the second half. Kelly Blackhurst scored her second goal of the game and 28th of the season on a blast from the top of the box at 39:20, then assisted on a goal by Cellidh MacNeill, centering a pass that MacNeill re-directed home at 40:18. Dani DeGregory scored her second goal of the game on a shot from inside the box in the 56th minute, and Sam Skott scored Skidmore's final goal on a rebound with just under 10 minutes remaining.


Skidmore opened the scoring when DeGregory took a pass from Skott and scored from close range at 8:58. Blackhurst made it 2-0 when she re-directed home a shot from the top of the circle by Molly Gilo at 25:51.


"We had much higher expectations for ourselves today and feel we were not able to show up the way we know we could/ have," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Nicole Castonguay. "Skidmore displayed such a very strong presence in their attacking circle and they were able to deliver on their post play and tipping positions.  For us, it didn't feel like we were able to get a rhythm down and after them getting a few on the books, we seemed to lose site. "


"The hardest part of today was knowing that this would be it for our four seniors, and that it would be the final stop of our 2012 journey," Castonguay added. "As a coach, it's never easy to close out a season, especially a season like this.  Although we went in to win this, I will say that nothing can take away from the lasting memories that were created this season and that's what i want to remember from this journey." 


The Thoroughbreds outshot the Corsairs in the second half, 20-3, and for the game, 28-9. Junior goalkeeper Lauren O'Brien (Rochester, MA/Old Rochester Regional HS) made 14 saves for UMass Dartmouth, including a stop on Blackhurst on a penalty stroke in the 51st minute. Haley McDougall made six saves for Skidmore to earn the shutout. The Thoroughbreds had 20 penalty corners to the Corsairs' 10.


UMD dropped to 17-6 with the defeat, while Skidmore improved to 14-5 with the victory. The Thoroughbreds advanced to the regional semi-finals at top-ranked Middlebury this Saturday. The match marked the conclusion of the season for UMass Dartmouth.