Nov. 5, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-When someone went down, several people stepped up for the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's field hockey team in their Little East Conference semi-final playoff match against visiting Fitchburg State at Cressy Field Thursday. The result was a three-goal second half for the Corsairs that propelled them to a 4-0 victory and a berth in Saturday's Little East Conference championship match.
With the game scoreless, junior forward Stephanie Kinchla (Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS/Quinnipiac), the Corsairs' leading scorer, left in the first half with an apparent injury. Freshman forward Eleanor Taylor (Fairhaven, MA/Bishop Stang HS) put UMass Dartmouth on the board when she took a pass from freshman forward Erica Allan (Amherst, MA/Amherst HS) and fired home a shot at the 22:52 mark to stake the Corsairs to a 1-0 halftime advantage.
UMD scored three goals in a span of 16:51 in the second half to widen their lead. Sophomore defender Maille Lynch-Gilbert (Petersham, MA/Quabbin Regional HS) took a pass from senior midfielder Kylie Treat (Hampstead, NH/Pinkerton Academy) and fired home a shot off a penalty corner at 48:52. Freshman forward Abby Zarotny (Waitfield, VT/Harwood Union HS) converted a give-and-go pass from junior forward Natalie Brown (Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS) on a two-on-one break at 54:41, and Taylor completed the scoring, one-timing a pass from junior midfielder Kellie Ann Finn (Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS/St. Michael's) off a penalty corner with 4:17 remaining.
"We have three bench players who play as much as our starters, and everyone does everything together, every drill and every lesson, and we have a lot of depth," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Nicole Castonguay. "We started off playing a little more frantically than we usually do, and we had a few people trying to do everything by themselves. As soon as we played together as a team, I noticed the difference."
The Corsairs out shot the Falcons, 14-7. Senior goalkeeper Seana Golden (Somerset, MA/Bishop Stang HS) made six saves for UMD, while junior goalkeeper Taylor Van Ahnen (Seekonk, MA/Seekonk HS) made nine stops for FSC.
"On offense, we emphasized chipping away," said Castonguay. "When you have people in the right positions, things will work out. On her goal, Maille took a smooth swing and didn't try to kill it, and it went in the back of the net. Abby came in off the bench, she was fresh, and she was able to finish."
UMass Dartmouth improved to 14-6 with the victory, while Fitchburg State dropped to 14-5 with the defeat. The Corsairs advanced to the conference championship match against either Keene State or Framingham State Saturday. The match would be at Keene if the Owls win tonight, and at Cressy Field if the Rams win this evening. The match was the final competition of the LEC Tournament for Fitchburg State.
"We will be ready for Saturday," said Castonguay. "If we get Framingham, we'll be at home, and if we get Keene, we'll be coming off a great game on their turf."
UMASS DARTMOUTH FIELD HOCKEY