Field Hockey: First NCAA Tournament Appearance in Program History
Gina Savino, Sports Editor
On Saturday, November 16th, while the men’s soccer team took on Saint Rose in the NE10 championship round, Field Hockey was also making history. They had earned the program’s first ever trip to the NCAA DII Field Hockey tournament, and made the drive down to Pennsylvania to match up against the East Stroudsberg Warriors.
The Hounds last game before the NCAA tournament was in the NE10 Semifinals when they traveled to top-seeded Saint Anselm on Friday, November 8 for a 4 p.m. game. The Hounds fell 1-0 when the Hawks scored in the final quarter of the game. The Hounds had one less shot than Saint Anselm (9-8) but earned three more penalty corners (8-5). Assumption ended the season with a 16-4 overall record. Saint Anselm will also be competing in the NCAA tournament as they were granted a bye in the first round after winning their first ever NE10 Championship.
The Hounds and the Warriors have only met twice in the past. The first meeting was in the ECAC Division II Tournament at East Stroudsburg in 1999 where Assumption won 1-0.
The second meeting was at the same tournament just hosted by Stonehill where the Warriors were victorious 2-0. From this season, the two have a common opponent in Stonehill. The Warriors defeated Stonehill 1-0 in double overtime in September while the Hounds split with the Skyhawks on the season. The first meeting between Assumption and Stonehill was in September at Stonehill and the Skyhawks were victorious in double overtime (1-0).
The second meeting was in the NE10 Quarterfinals when the Hounds traveled to the Skyhawks and upset Stonehill 1-0 to earn their way to the NE10 Semifinals.
East Stroudsburg has appeared in the NCAA tournament seven times over the course of 18 years. This year will be the Warriors’ fifth straight appearance in the tournament. This was Assumption’s first NCAA appearance in program history.
On Saturday, Assumption and East Stroudsburg battled the first 40 minutes of play holding each other scoreless until the Warriors earned a penalty corner in the third quarter. The Warriors took a shot through the Assumption defense for the only goal of the game and ended the Hounds’ season with a 1-0 win.
The Hounds opened their first NCAA game in program history strong when they earned a penalty corner at the 1:19 mark. The remainder of the first quarter was back and forth action with the Hounds recording one more shot while the Warriors notched two penalty corners and three shots. Assumption started the second quarter the same way with back-to-back penalty corners in the first 30 seconds of the quarter. East Stroudsburg stayed strong and only allowed the Hounds those two penalty corners and no shots in the second quarter while recording two shots and on penalty corner themselves. The two teams headed into halftime scoreless.
The Warriors came out strong in the third quarter recording seven shots and four penalty corners. On their second penalty corner of the quarter, the Warriors struck with a hard shot from the top to the far post that ricocheted into the boards for a 1-0 lead. Despite the Hounds strong effort at the end earning four penalty corners in the final five minutes of play, Assumption was unable to convert and fell in the first round of the NCAAs 1-0. East Stroudsburg had outshot the Hounds 14-7 while the Hounds earned two less penalty corners than the Warriors (10-8).
Sophomore Kylie Gargiulo was in net for the Hounds and recorded six saves while both senior Sam Tepper and sophomore Summer Walsh earned defensive saves.
The Hounds end their 2019 season with a 16-5 record, with a .76 win percentage. In the NE10 conference, the Hounds were 11-3. They were 9-0 at home, 7-4 away, and had one loss in a neutral location.
Gina Savino, a junior, studies English and Education. She is the Sports Editor for Le Provocateur.