November 9, 2010
Red Dragons given tourney home game
After losing in the conference title game this past Saturday, SUNY Cortland was hardly a sure-bet to get a spot in the NCAA Division III field hockey playoffs.
But the Red Dragons received an at-large berth to be part of the 24-team post-season tournament and will host UMass Dartmouth in an opening round game on Wednesday. Game time is 2:30 p.m. at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.
The winner of the Cortland-UMass Dartmouth game will face Lebanon Valley on Saturday at Bowdoin College in Maine as part of a four-team regional. The regional winner advances to the NCAA Division III “Final Four” being held Nov. 20-21 at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va.
Cortland (15-4), led by 13th-year head coach Cynthia Wetmore, is making its 12th straight NCAA appearance and 26th overall. The Red Dragons advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals last year with a second-round victory over Christopher Newport before losing, 3-2, at eventual national champion Salisbury.
The Red Dragons lost in the second round in 2007, were a national quarterfinalist three straight years from 2004-06, and advanced to the semifinals in 2003.
Cortland is making its 19th NCAA showing in the last 20 years. The Red Dragons won national titles in 1993, 1994 and 2001 and finished second in 1997. They tied for third in 1999 and 2003, placed third in both 1989 and 1996 and were fourth in 1988.
Regular season champion Geneseo beat Cortland 1-0 in the SUNYAC finals this past Saturday, though this is the last season the conference champion does not earn an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. Both Geneseo and Cortland received at-large berths, however.
Geneseo (18-1), which will have a first-round game at Stevens Tech Wednesday, ended Cortland’s string of 10 straight SUNYAC titles.
Sophomore Sara Woodward leads Cortland with 12 goals, including six game winners, in 19 games. She also has five assists for a team-high 29 points. Senior Brenda Semit has seven goals and a team-best 11 assists for 25 points, while sophomore Danielle Groneman has scored eight times and has four assists for 20 points.
Senior goalie Ashley Hughes has a 0.89 goals-against average and a .840 save percentage with six solo shutouts in 19 starts.
Ripley Honors at Wheelock
BOSTON — Freshman defender Dakota Ripley out of Marathon was named to the all-tournament team after her Wheelock College team fell to Becker College 3-2 in the finals of the New England Collegiate Conference semifinals this past weekend.
Wheelock (7-9) played its third one-goal game against Becker this season — including becoming the only visiting NECC team to win at Becker — and aimed to make its second consecutive finals appearance but was eliminated from postseason contention for the third straight fall by the Hawks.
Ripley headed up a defense that allowed just 1.83 goals per game.
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