Nov. 9, 2010
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Last year, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's field hockey team took a step they had never taken before, winning the Little East Conference championship and advancing to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
This year, the Corsairs will try to go one step beyond by winning an NCAA game for the first time when they visit Cortland State in a first round match Wednesday afternoon. Game time Wednesday is 2:30 p.m. at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.
The Corsairs enter the match with a 15-7 overall record and in the midst of their third three-game winning streak of the season. UMass Dartmouth swept their three matches in the LEC Tournament, defeating Salem State, Keene State and Bridgewater State. The Red Dragons are 15-4 and received an at-large bid after losing to Geneseo State, 1-0, in the State University of New York Athletic Conference championship Saturday. Cortland is making their 12th consecutive appearance in the NCAAs and 26th overall.
UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Nicole Castonguay said that the feeling is different this season than last. "Last year, we were the new kids on the lock, and it felt that way," said Castonguay. "This year, we are going in with a winning mentality, and we will do whatever it takes to bring a solid game up to Cortland."
The teams have no common opponents, so comparisons are difficult. "There is something exciting about meeting up with a team we have never seen," said Castonguay. "We respect that there are only 24 teams competing this week, and we are proud to represent the Little East Conference. We want to make a name for ourselves here at UMD and keep the program progressing. We have what it takes; now it's up to us to bring our "A" game on Wednesday."
The winner of Wednesday's match advances to a four-team regional at Bowdoin this weekend. The winner will play Lebanon Valley Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The winner of that match plays Sunday for a chance to advance to the Final Four next weekend.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FIELD HOCKEY