Field hockey falls to West Chester in NCAA Division II National Championship game

Field hockey falls to West Chester in NCAA Division II National Championship game

MILLERSVILLE, Pa. – Competing in the program's first-ever NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championship game, third-ranked Saint Anselm College recorded a 2-1 loss to top-ranked West Chester University on Sunday.

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Saint Anselm sees its magical season come to an end with a 20-3 overall record, winning each of the 20 contests in shutout fashion. After claiming the team's third NE10 Regular Season Championship with a 13-1 mark against league foes, the Hawks won their first-ever NE10 postseason title by posting three consecutive shutouts in the conference championships.

The Hawks conceded two early goals to West Chester (20-1) on Sunday, only the fifth and sixth tallies that Saint Anselm has allowed all year. The Hawks countered with a late first-half goal from freshman Maeve Murphy (Scituate, Mass.) off a penalty corner with only seven seconds left in the opening half, but the final score would remain in favor of the nation's top-ranked program, 2-1.

West Chester had back-to-back penalty corners to open the game and the Golden Rams did not miss on the second opportunity. Marre Corver fired home a shot from just inside the arc off an assist from Kat Roncoroni to create the early 1-0 advantage for the Golden Rams.

The third shot of the afternoon for the Golden Rams also found the back of the goal as Katie Thompson, ranked second in NCAA Division II with over one goal per game, notched her 22nd goal of the season to up the West Chester advantage to 2-0. The Hawks would not allow another shot for the remainder of the first quarter.

The Hawks offense came alive late in the second stanza, firing six shots while limiting the opponents to only two. Saint Anselm was awarded six penalty corners in the final three minutes of the first half and cashed in on the final one with under 10 seconds left. Murphy's fourth goal of the season was set up by senior Mary Nee (Canton, Mass.) with a nice right-to-left pass at the top of the goal mouth.

West Chester held Saint Anselm to only one second-half shot and conceded only one penalty corner, doing so late in the fourth quarter, but a Hawks foul sent the ball the other way. Time expired with West Chester in possession of the ball in the offensive zone.

Hawks goaltender Julia Hand (Reading, Mass.) had two saves in the second half. West Chester's Claire Nielsen made three saves on four shots across 60 minutes, picking up the victory.

Saint Anselm posted a program-record 20 victories in 2019 under the watch of Head Coach Carolyn King-Robitaille. The senior class qualified for four consecutive NCAA tournaments, earning two berths into the "Final Four". The squad's 1-0 double-overtime victory over East Stroudsburg on Friday in the NCAA Semifinals was the team's first-ever over a top-two nationally-ranked opponent.