Field Hockey Travels to Saint Anselm for NE10 Semifinals

Hannah McGrath

WORCESTER, Mass. – Assumption field hockey looks to earn its second consecutive trip to the NE10 Championship Game when the team faces No. 4 seed Saint Anselm on Friday at 4 p.m. on the road in Manchester, N.H. Fans can watch the contest by clicking here.

Last Time Out
The Hounds reached the NE10 Semifinals by upsetting No. 1 seed Pace 1-0 in the Quarterfinals on Tuesday. Assumption's Courtney Sickel scored the lone goal of the game in the 44th minute off a breakaway on the right side of the field. Deirdre Burchill dodged a defender to get the ball into the circle where she sent a cross pass to Sickel on the left that she collected and shot past the goalie for the 1-0 lead. The Hounds had a 7-5 penalty corner advantage in the game.

Upset Special
Tuesday marked the second straight year Assumption won in the NE10 Quarterfinals as the lower seeded team. Last year as the No. 6 seed, the Hounds traveled to No. 3 seed Pace and won 2-1 in overtime where Sarah Bodzinski recorded five saves. Assumption then took down No. 2 Stonehill 1-0 in the Semifinals to advance to last year's NE10 Title Game.

The Past
In the last seven meetings between Saint Anselm and Assumption, the Hounds have come up short six of the seven times. The last time the Hounds beat Saint Anselm was in the 2015 season, where they won 1-0. Assumption has not faced Saint Anselm in postseason play in the last four times the Hounds have made the NE10 tournament. In the last seven meetings, Saint Anselm has outscored the Hounds 16-6.

Last Time Out: Saint Anselm
The Hawks enter the NE10 Semifinals following a 4-2 victory over No. 5 seed Southern N.H. on Tuesday. They answered a Southern N.H. goal just 32 seconds later to start a scoring spree for the Hawks. Saint Anselm would score the next two goals of the game to take a 3-1 lead. The Penmen answered in the 50th minute of play only to have their hopes squashed by a Hawks goal in the 66th minute. Ericka Meissner, Michelle Lemelin, Hannah Friend and Sarah Bagley all scored for the Hawks, while Julia Hand recorded ten saves.

Scouting the Hawks
Saint Anselm is ranked 10th in the nation with a 14-5 record and riding an eight game win streak, which dates back to Oct. 20. Senior Abby Walker leads the Hawks with 25 points on 11 goals and three assists while Hannah Friend has 19 points (5G, 9A), Carly LaCasse has 17 points (8G, 1A), Hannah Potter has 16 points (7G, 2A) and both Maddie Bressler (7G, 1A) and Michelle Lemelin (6G, 3A) have 15 points apiece. Junior Julia Hand has a save percentage of .747 with three shutouts this season. As a team, Saint Anselm is fourth in the NE10 with 57 goals and second in GAA at 1.13.

Scouting the Hounds
Assumption enters the NE10 Semifinals on a three game win streak and has only allowed three goals over that span. The Hounds are led by sophomore Deirdre Burchill with 29 points on 11 goals and seven assists followed by classmate Jennifer Beardsley with 22 points on eleven goals. Isabel Primack has recorded six goals and one assist for 13 points while both Sam Tepper (2G, 5A) and Courtney Sickel (4G, 1A) have earned nine points apiece. Senior Sarah Bodzinski has a save percentage of .798 with five shutouts while Kolby Burger leads in defensive saves with five. As a team, Assumption is eighth in the NE10 with 42 goals, tied at seventh with 30 assists, and fourth in GAA at 1.23.