Nov. 10, 2010
CORTLAND, NY-Host Cortland State scored twice within a period of less than eight minutes in the first half and went on to defeat the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's field hockey team, 3-0, in an NCAA Division III Tournament first round match at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex Wednesday afternoon.
The Corsairs put the pressure on early against the 14th-ranked Red Dragons, taking five of the game's first six shots and gaining five penalty corners in the first 17 minutes. But Cortland State goalkeeper Ashley Hughes stopped shots by sophomore forward Erica Allan (Amherst, MA/Amherst HS), senior forward Stephanie Kinchla (Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS/Quinnipiac) and senior midfielder Becca Festinger (Greenfield, MA/Greenfield HS), and the Red Dragons made their second shot count. Erin Smith gave Cortland State a 1-0 lead when she re-directed home a pass from Sara Woodward just inside the right goal post at the 19:26 mark.
Less than eight minutes later, Smith set up the second Cortland goal. She took a pass in front of UMass Dartmouth freshman goalkeeper Lauren O'Brien (Rochester, MA/Old Rochester Regional HS), then slid a cross to Danielle Groneman, who scored at 27:17.
Kelly Vdoviak scored the only goal of the second half for the Red Dragons. She carried the ball nearly the length of the field and fired home a shot just inside the right post with just under 10 minutes remaining. .
"We came out and played the play we were capable of playing, but they had a great goalkeeper and smart defenders in the circle, and we couldn't finish," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Nicole Castonguay. "We let them in on a couple of goals, but I'm proud of the way we showed up and made a name for ourselves. We came out to win, and we showed them what we were capable of. I told our seniors that they should be proud of our accomplishments in helping us get the program to where we want it to get to. Last year (NCAA Tournament appearance) was the first big step in getting us to where we want to go, and this was the second big step." The Corsairs outshot Cortland State, 14-12 and had 16 penalty corners to eight for the Red Dragons. O'Brien made seven saves for UMD, while Hughes made eight saves for Cortland.
Six seniors played their final match for UMass Dartmouth-defender Kate Dorrance (Rehoboth, MA/Dighton-Rehoboth HS), midfielders Linee Mello-Frost (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS), Kellie Ann Finn (Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS/St. Michael's), and Festinger, and forwards Jacke Anderson (Medway, MA/Medway HS) and Kinchla.
"They were part of the force," said Castonguay. "Jacke and Kate played hard for their first three years, and earned starting positions for the first time as seniors, based on their work ethic. Linee was hurt at the start of the year, and then became our unsung hero and did more than anyone can imagine. Becca controlled the tempo of the midfield, Kellie has been an amazing team leader, and Steph has been a driving force. We have six seniors who can't be replaced, and, hopefully, our returning players will play up to that standard."
UMD dropped to 15-8 with the defeat, while Cortland State improved to 16-4 with the victory. Cortland advanced to the regional semi-finals, and will play Lebanon Valley Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Bowdoin in Brunswick, ME. The match was the final competition of the season for UMass Dartmouth.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FIELD HOCKEY