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Rowan University Defeats Messiah College, 1-0, To Win 2002 NCAA Division III Field Hockey National Championship

Boxscore/Play By Play

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Nov. 23, 2002 – Rowan (N.J.) University junior midfielder Michelle Thornton (Delran, N.J.) scored the game-winning goal with 54 seconds remaining in the first half to lead the Profs to the 1-0 win over Messiah (Pa.) College and the 2002 NCAA Division III Field Hockey National Championship, hosted by Springfield College.

Junior back Jackie Massara (Hammonton, N.J.) and junior midfielder Jess Wadleigh (Chester, N.J.) were credited with assists on the game-winning goal, as the Profs finished their season with a perfect 21-0 record while capturing their first national title in 11th appearances in the national tournament. Rowan defeated Salisbury (Md.) University in double overtime, 3-2, in the semifinals.

Messiah (18-4), which defeated The College of New Jersey, 1-0, in the semifinals, finished runner-up for the second-straight season, and fourth time in program history.

Thornton joined three other Rowan teammates on the All-Tournament Team: junior forward Becky Peterson (Hancocks Bridge, N.J.), senior back Renee Phelps (Mount Laurel, N.J.) and senior back Lindsay Hanson (Collingswood, N.J.).

“This is the greatest feeling in the world,” said Hanson. “This is the most dedicated and hard-working team I have ever been a part of.”

Messiah goalkeeper Erica Nelson (Princess Anne, Md.) registered eight saves for the Falcons to receive all-tournament honors along with senior midfielder Brooke Good (Ephrata, Pa.) and sophomore Danae Chambers (Elkton, Mass.).

2002 NCAA Field Hockey National Championship
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Rowan (4) - Becky Peterson (junior, forward), Renee Phelps (senior, back), Lindsay Hanson (senior, back), Michelle Thornton (junior, midfielder)
Messiah (3) – Erica Nelson (sophomore, goalkeeper), Brooke Good (senior, midfielder), Danae Chambers (sophomore, forward)
The College of New Jersey (2) – Grace Rarich (senior, back), Colleen Stamler (sophomore, forward)
Salisbury (2) – Lindsey Elliott (junior, forward), Lindsay Bard (senior, back)
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2013 Field Hockey Team Guide

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Head Coach Melissa Sharpe

Melissa Sharpe After nine years as head coach of the Pride, Melissa Sharpe has continued the tradition of winning on the field hockey turf, posting an impressive 130-68 record, good for a winning percentage of .656 at the helm of her alma mater. Read more.

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