Top Seeds Hold True to Advance to the Championship

Top Seeds Hold True to Advance to the Championship

Attleboro, Mass. - Top seeded Regis College won an overtime thriller 2-1 against fourth seeded Becker College. Second Seeded Elms College earns the 4-2 victory over third seeded Wheelock College. 

The Blazers advance and will travel to Regis for the NECC Championship set for Saturday November 5th at 1:00 p.m. 

#1 Regis 2, #4 Becker 1 OT

WESTON, Mass. – Mackenzie Cattaruzza capitalized on an Yvonne Abate steal to score in overtime and lift the Regis (Mass.) field hockey team to a nail-biting 2-1 win over Becker in the semifinals of the New England Collegiate Conference Tournament Wednesday night at Regis Stadium.

Abate's clutch steal came as Becker (5-16) had numbers on attack just under five minutes into overtime. Gaining possession, she pushed the ball up the field and found Cattaruzza who scored to send the top-seeded Pride into Saturday's NECC title game. Regis will play second-seeded Elms who beat Wheelock in the other semifinal.

The Pride got on the board first, scoring in the seventh minute to take the early lead. Flying down the left wing, Aineen Callahan's initial shot was stopped by Becker goalie Elysabeth Jeffries but Callahan followed up and slotted the ball in after a scrum in front of the net.

Becker, after several scoring opportunities went by the wayside, finally put one in to tie up the score in the 27th minute. Amy Grenier scored on an unassisted goal on a breakaway and all of a sudden the game was tied.

Both squads had excellent chances to score in regulation. Five minutes into the second half, Jeffries foiled a Regis (11-7) chance on goal before Maresa Malcolm denied Becker in a series of repeated shots on goal.

With about 20 minutes to play, the Pride began to take control and were unfortunate to not end the game in regulation. Callahan had several chances but none bigger than Cattaruzza's point blank shot and save with under five minutes to play. It didn't take long for Cattaruzza get another opportunity though, this time making good on her chance and giving the Pride the overtime win.

Malcolm had seven saves with Jeffries tallying 10.

Regis and Elms will square off in the NECC championship for the second time in three years. The Pride topped the Blazers 1-0 in overtime in the 2014 title game.

Courtesy of Regis Athletics Communications.

#2 Elms 4, #3 Wheelock 2

CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College field hockey team punched their ticket to the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship game with a 4-2 victory over visiting Wheelock College in a semifinal match at Leary Field Wednesday afternoon.

The Blazers (10-9) advance to the NECC Championship game to face the winner between top-seed Regis College and fourth-seeded Becker College Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats (8-10) concluded play for the 2016 season.

After back-and-forth opening minutes of play, the Blazers cracked the scoreboard in the 6th minute as freshman Olivia Keane picked up a loose ball at midfield, raced into the Wildcat zone and found sophomore Madison Messier near the post, who delivered the ball to the front of the net for a finish by sophomore Jeszenia McGuire to stake Elms to a 1-0 lead.

The Blazers added to their advantage in the 13th minute of action when sophomore Hayley Omahen made a run up the sideline and hammered a ball towards the net, which was deflected into the air by a Wildcat defender and landed at the feet of Messier, who tucked a shot past Wheelock freshman Alicia Hubbard, pushing Elms ahead 2-0.

Wheelock chipped away at the Blazers lead with 13:48 remaining in the first half as junior midfielder Alex LeBlanc played a free position ball to junior Katie Frade, who deflected the ball into the upper corner of the cage, cutting the gap to 2-1. The score remained intact heading into the break.

Just over five minutes into the second half, Keane secured another loose ball at midfield and raced towards the Wildcat goal where she found Messier open on the right side to her second goal of the day, padding the Blazers lead to 3-1.

In the 47th minute of play, the Blazers pressured on a corner opportunity, and senior Stephanie Esposito fired the loose ball off Hubbard, but fought for the rebound and snuck a shot to the back of the cage, building a 4-1 advantage for Elms. The Wildcats fought back as Frade netted an unassisted strike in the 56th minute, but the Blazers defense held Wheelock in check over the final minutes to secure the 4-2 win.

The Wildcats edged the Blazers, 11-9, in the shot column, and 8-6 in penalty corners. Elms sophomore goalkeeper Jillian Lapponese stopped five shots in the win, while Hubbard made two saves for Wheelock.

With two goals in the game, Messier becomes the Elms field hockey single-season leaders in points (38) and goals (16), surpassing the marks set by Emily Halkett in 1986 and 1989, respectively.

Courtesy of Elms Athletics Communications.

Semifinals – Wednesday, November 2nd

Game 1: #1 Regis 2, #4 Becker 1 - OT
Game 2: #2 Elms 4,  #3 Wheelock 2 

Championship – Saturday, November 5th

Game 3: #2 Elms  at #1 Regis – 1:00 p.m.