#16 Field Hockey Earns At-Large Bid to NCAA; Host 1st Round on Wednesday

#16 Field Hockey Earns At-Large Bid to NCAA; Host 1st Round on Wednesday


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The NCAA Division III Field Hockey Committee has announced the field of 24 teams which will compete in the 2014 NCAA Championship and Mount Holyoke College was one of four teams to earn an At-Large selection. It marks the fourth trip in program history for the Lyons, who are ranked 16th in the nation, and the second consecutive appearance after advancing to the Second Round in 2013.

Led by 17th-year head coach Andy Whitcomb, the Lyons shouldered just their third loss of the season on Sunday afternoon, falling 1-0 in overtime to Wellesley in the NEWMAC Championship game. Mount Holyoke, which owns a 16-3 record, will now host Husson University on Wednesday at the MHC Turf Field in NCAA First Round action. Game time will be at 4pm. This also marks the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

Tickets, which can be purchased at the game on Wednesday, are $5 for adults, $3 for students and children aged 12 or under are free admission.

The Lyons, who finished second in the NEWMAC with a 7-1 mark, produced a number of outstanding wins this season, Among the teams most notable wins include a 3-1 victory at Rensselaer,  a 7-0 win against Castleton State, a 1-0 victory over then #18 Williams and a 2-1 overtime victory at Wesleyan and a critical 3-2 overtime win against MIT in October. The Lyons went on to defeat the Engineers once again, this time by a 1-0 margin in the NEWMAC Semifinals.

The Lyons have continued to put forth a dominant effort across the board and are among the leaders in both Division III and the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) in a number of categories. Among the nation's best, Mount Holyoke is ninth in save percentage (.835), 12th in both goals against average (0.93) and winning percentage (.867), 14th in assists per game (2.42) and 21st in both penalty corners per game (12.00) and points per game (9.15).

Among the NEWMAC leaders, MHC is first in save percentage (.835), while ranking second in goals scored (64), fewest goals allowed (18), penalty corners (228), assists (46), goals against average and goals per game (3.37).

Individually, the Lyons are led in scoring by senior captain and midfielder Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford), who is a two-time NEWMAC Offensive Performer of the Week honoree this season. A starter in all 19 games, Kilburn ranks first in Division III in assists per game (0.95) and leads the NEWMAC with 18 assists.

Kilburn, who was selected to play in the prestigious NFHCA Senior Game, has added 13 goals for a team-best 44 points. She has added a conference-high 115 shots (67 on goal) and has a NEWMAC-best six game-winning tallies. Additionally, she ranks second in the conference in points and is fifth in goals.

Sophomore forward Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, Pa./Westtown School) is currently second overall with 12 goals and 12 assists for 36 points. She is currently second in the NEWMAC in assists and fourth in points. First year midfielder Sophie Perekslis (Sheffield, Mass./Berkshire School) is the team-leader in goals with 14 for 28 points. Among the top rookies in the conference, she ranks fourth in goals and 10th in points.

Defensively, Mount Holyoke has been anchored by rookie Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin), who is 15-3 on the season. She currently ranks 14th in Division III in save percentage - a NEWMAC-best .829 - and is also 19th in goals against average with a 1.06 clip. DiCesare has made 87 saves on the season over 1189:10 minutes of action. Among the NEWMAC leaders, DiCesare is second in wins and goals against average, while ranking fifth in goals against (18).

Husson earned its ticket into the NCAA Tournament on Saturday after defeating Maine-Farmington by a 1-0 margin in double-overtime for the North Atlantic Conference title. This is the fourth trip to the NCAA's for the Eagles and the first since 2011. Senior defender Annika Durrell was named Most Valuable Player as she and All-Tournament honoree Melissa Souza played shut down on defense the entire game.

Under the direction of head coach Madeline Hoeppner, Husson enters the NCAA Tournament with a 9-8 overall record. The Eagles went 5-0 in NAC action, led by sophomore midfielder Taylor Lovley, who has recorded eight goals with six assists for 22 points. Classmate and fellow middie Libby Kain has nine goals and two assists for 20 points, while Souza rounds out the top three with six goals and two assists for 14 points.

Defensively, Husson has seen two goalies share time, led by sophomore Kaitlin Dolloff (5-3), who sports a 0.95 goals against average and a .808 save percentage. First year Abby Greenleaf (4-5) owns a 2.43 GAA and a .754 save percentage.

The winner of Wednesday's First Round game will advance to Saturday's Second Round, where they will travel to the second-ranked team in the nation and the defending Division III champion, Bowdoin College. The Polar Bears, who fell to #3 Middlebury by a 2-1 margin in the NESCAC Championship on Sunday, were also one of four teams like MHC, to earn an at-large bid.
Live stats for Wednesday's game can be found by clicking HERE. Additionally, a live video feed will also be available HERE.
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