Nov. 7, 2009
KEENE, NH-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's field hockey team has now gone where no UMD field hockey team has gone before. Freshman Erica Allan's (Amherst, MA/Amherst HS) goal in sudden-death overtime gave the Corsairs a 3-2 victory over host Keene State in the Little East Conference championship match at the Owl Athletic Complex Saturday afternoon and sent UMass Dartmouth to the NCAA Division III Championships for the first time ever.
The Owls took an early lead on Carley Benning's goal at the 1:34 mark, but freshman defender Taryn Cardiel (Moorpark, CA/Moorpark HS) tied it when she converted a pass from senior midfielder Kylie Treat (Hampstead, NH/Pinkerton Academy) off a penalty corner at 22:45. Junior defender Becca Festinger (Greenfield, MA/Greenfield HS) put UMS ahead, 2-1, with a shot out of a crowd in the circle at 43:31, but Erin Dallas tied the score when she converted Benning's pass off a penalty corner with 10:14 left in regulation time. Allan scored the winning goal seven minutes into overtime off a penalty corner.
"We started a little bit back on our heels, and when they scored early, we had to mentally set ourselves to earning that goal back," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Nicole Castonguay, "We went into halftime with a fresh start, and they put the pressure on us, but we were ready for it. On the winning goal, we called out a play, but (sophomore defender) Maille (Lynch-Gilbert, Petersham, MA/Quabbin Regional HS) and (freshman forward) Eleanor (Taylor, Fairhaven, MA/Bishop Stang HS) said they wanted another play. We knew they were feeling something, and we went ahead with it, and they finished."
The Corsairs finished the three-game tournament by outscoring their opponents, 11-2, and senior defender Laurie David (Yarmouthport, MA/Dennis-Yarmouth HS) was named as the tournament's Most Valuable Player. "Our defense was amazing," said Castonguay. "Laurie denies the ball to the other team's top scorer. I give her a lot of credit, she's been doing that for our team since her freshman year, and that says something."
The Corsairs out shot the Owls, 19-10. Senior goalkeeper Seana Golden (Somerset, MA/Bishop Stang HS) made eight saves for UMD, while Vikki Stoessel made 10 for Keene.
"This is all about our seniors," said Castonguay. "Four years ago, I promised them that within four years, this would happen, and they stuck with us, and we stuck to our goals. We knew there was no other option today but to leave with a win."
UMass Dartmouth improved to 15-6 with the victory, while Keene State dropped to 18-5 with the defeat. The Corsairs earned the LEC's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Championships. The pairings will be released Monday, with the tournament beginning on Wednesday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FIELD HOCKEY