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November 11, 2010

 

Dragons post shutout to get NCAAs started

Field HockeyBob Ellis/staff photographer
Freshman Erin Smith (9) of SUNY Cortland closes in on UMass goalie Lauren O’Brien during Wednesday’s NCAA opener at the Stadium Complex. Smith had a goal and assist in 3-0 Red Dragons win. Cortland advances to play Lebanon Valley on Saturday.

Getting a couple of goals from a pair of freshmen, SUNY Cortland took a successful first step in the NCAA Division III field hockey tournament on Wednesday afternoon.
Three different Red Dragons were involved in the scoring during a 3-0 shutout victory over UMass Dartmouth in the first round of the national playoffs, freshmen Erin Smith and Karly Vdoviak joining sophomore Danielle Groneman as goal scorers for the hosts. Smith also picked up an assist for the victors.
With the win, Coach Cynthia Wetmore’s nationally 14th-ranked stickers improve to 16-4 and move along to face third-ranked Lebanon Valley (18-2) in a second round game this coming Saturday. That 2 p.m. contest is part of a four-team regional being hosted by Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
Bowdoin (16-1) faces Babson (16-5) in the other second round contest on Saturday, Babson a 4-3 winner over Husson in a first round game yesterday. Saturday’s winners will meet on Sunday, with the survivor moving on to the ‘Final Four’ being played Nov. 20-21 at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va.
The Red Dragons are making their 12th straight NCAA appearance and 26th overall. Cortland won national titles in 1993, 1994 and 2001. Last year, Cortland reached the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Salisbury 3-2.
Against UMass Dartmouth (15-8), Cortland was out-shot by by a slight 14-12 margin only to have senior goalie Ashley Hughes turn away eight shots to keep the Corsairs off the Stadium Complex scoreboard.
The Corsairs had the better of play early in the game but could not solve Hughes. Their best chance game midway through the first half, but senior Kate Dorrance’s shot after a scramble in front following a penalty corner went just wide of the left post.
Less than two minutes later, Smith gave Cortland a 1-0 lead when she tucked a shot inside the right post after receiving a crossing pass by sophomore Sara Woodward from the right side. With 7:43 remaining in the opening half, Smith set up Groneman’s one-timer in front also with a cross from the right.
In the second half, neither team created a real quality chance until Vdoviak finished off the scoring in the 61st minute. Vdoviak possessed the ball in her defensive third, carried the length of the field and beat UMass Dartmouth goalie Lauren O’Brien inside the right post with a long blast from just inside the arc.
Freshman O’Brien finished with seven saves for the Corsairs, who also had an 16-8 edge in penalty corners on the day.
Stevens Tech 1, Geneseo 0, OT: The first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament by SUNY Athletic Conference champion Geneseo turned into an overtime disappointment.
The Blue Knights (18-2) were beaten 1-0 in overtime by host Stevens Tech (11-10), as Caitlin Chamberlain scored her sixth goal of the season off a Mary Nikish assist 4:32 into the extra session. That breakaway goal ended a 17-game Geneseo winning streak, which included a 1-0 win over Cortland in the conference title game this past Saturday.
Geneseo had a couple of scoring chances in OT, Katie Farley getting off a shot that went wide and another that was saved, before Stevens Tech scored to advance into the second round to take on Eastern. Geneseo goalie Caitlyn Dowell made just one save in the game. Stevens Tech had a slight 7-6 shot edge.

 

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