Nov. 7, 2010
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's field hockey team defeated visiting Bridgewater State, 3-1, in the Little East Conference championship match at Cressy Field Sunday afternoon.
At the 13-minute mark of the first half, sophomore forward Eleanor Taylor (Fairhaven, MA/Bishop Stang HS) put the Corsairs on the scoreboard when she redirected a blast from sophomore defender Taryn Cardiel (Moorpark, CA/Moorpark HS) past Bears senior goalkeeper Katie Weber (Arlington, MA/Arlington HS), giving UMass Dartmouth an early 1-0 advantage. Just over six minutes later, the Bears evened the score at 1-1 when sophomore forward Shelby Farland (Fiskdale, MA/Tantasqua Regional HS) deflected a shot past Corsair freshmen goalkeeper Lauren O'Brien (Rochester, MA/Old Rochester Regional HS). The Bears had a chance to break the tie at the 22-minute mark when Farland was awarded a penalty stroke, but she whistled the ball over the Corsair goal, keeping the 1-1 score intact.
With less than five minutes left in the first half, the Corsairs received a corner attempt. On the ensuing corner, Cardiel fired a shot from the point, which was saved by Weber, but senior forward Stephanie Kinchla (Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS/Quinnipiac) gathered the rebound and snuck a shot into the Bear goal, creating a 2-1 lead for UMass Dartmouth. The Corsairs took the 2-1 lead going into halftime.
As the clock approached 19 minutes left to play, the Corsairs delivered a final blow to Bridgewater State. Off another corner attempt, Cardiel blasted another shot on goal and this time senior defender Becca Festinger (Greenfield, MA/Greenfield HS) found the rebound and put a shot past Weber, securing the 3-1 victory and 2010 Little East Conference Championship for the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs.
"We never let up, we stuck to our game plan, there we things I thought about changing that weren't working but I thought we got here because of those things and rather than changing it up, we let it play out." said Corsairs Head Coach Nicole Castonguay. "We did too much dribbling and too much individual work in the last game and today we put the pieces back together as far as playing as a team and we were a little more patient in the heat of the moment. I feel like every year you have a special bond with your team , the first half of the season I feel I was tougher on this crew than I've been with any other crew because I knew their potential and I feel like we are heading towards a peak The NCAA tournament is what we wanted, we talk about making a stand in the LEC but we also talk about our goal NCAA-wise and within the next couple of years we look to become a strong NCAA competitor."
The Corsairs outshot the Bears, 24-6. O'Brien made three saves for UMD, while Weber recorded 16 saves for the Bears.
UMD improved to 15-7 with the victory, while Bridgewater State finished their season at 11-8 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth advanced to the NCAA Division III Championships with the victory. The NCAA pairings will be announced Monday, and the first round games are scheduled for Wednesday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FIELD HOCKEY