MANCHESTER, N.H. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College field hockey team will advance to its second consecutive Northeast-10 Conference Championship game after downing No. 9-ranked Assumption by a 1-0 margin in the NE10 Semifinals.
Saint Anselm, the top seed in the NE10 playoffs and ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division II, won its program-record 18th game on Friday, improving to 18-2. Each of the Hawks' 18 victories in 2019 have come via shutout. Assumption, the ninth-ranked program in NCAA Division II and the fifth seed in this year's NE10 postseason, falls to 16-4 overall on the year.
In the NE10 Championship to be played at Grappone Stadium this Sunday at 1 p.m., the Hawks will take on the winner of the Southern New Hampshire and Saint Thomas Aquinas semifinals game being played at 6 p.m. on Friday. More information about the showdown will be revealed this weekend.
Senior Mary Nee (Canton, Mass.) posted her fourth game-winning goal of the 2019 season, propelling the Hawks to victory with her strike at 45:43. On a penalty corner injected by senior Michelle Lemelin (Windham, Maine), classmate Kaeleigh Lord (Keene, N.H.) settled the ball and sent a pass to her right. Nee was able to drive the ball right up the middle and past the Assumption defense for the go-ahead tally.
Lemelin is now tied for fifth in program history with 58 career points. She has scored 24 goals and 10 assists in her career and finds herself tied with Allia Connolly '18 on the all-time leaderboard. As a senior, Lemelin has logged 23 points of offense via nine goals and five assists, cracking the single-season point scoring top 10 list for the Hawks.
Playing from behind in the game's final 14:27, Assumption began an aggressive offensive push that resulted in two cards including one yellow card that carried an eight-minute penalty. The Greyhounds fired four of the game's last six shots, including a Shannon Quinlan shot that was saved by Hawks backstop Julia Hand (Reading, Mass.).
The teams entered halftime with a 0-0 score as the Hawks and Hounds posted only two shots apiece in the opening 30 minutes of play.
Assumption was awarded eight of the game's 13 penalty corners, but was unable to capitalize on the opportunity as they did earlier in the season. The Greyhounds toppled the Hawks by a 1-0 score earlier in the season off a penalty corner, the only goal against the Hawks all season in NE10 play.
Hand made four saves, matching a season-high total, to earn the victory in goal for the Hawks. Kylie Gargiulo allowed one goal on three shots faced, drawing the loss for Assumption.