Springfield entered the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament as the top seed after completing the conference regular season with a record of 8-0. The Pride opened the tournament by cruising past MIT in the first round, and then knocking off WPI in the quarterfinals 4-1. Then in the finals, the Pride knocked off Wellesley to capture their fifth-straight NEWMAC crown with a 2-1 win. The Pride enters the NCAA tournament with an overall record of 15-6 and has won nine of their last eleven.
Senior Jane Kelleher (Chatham, Mass.) was named the NEWMAC Field Hockey Athlete of the Year for the second-straight season, and leads the Pride midfield after having yet another outstanding season. Kelleher has scored a team-best 36 points on 17 goals and two assists. Junior midfielder Emily Murray (Boonton, N.J.) had had a standout year for the Pride as well as she has tallied 16 points on seven goals and two assists. NEWMAC All-Conference Second Team selection Meg Bradley (Cumberland, R.I.) as continued to make an impact on the field on both the offense and defensive side of the ball. A stalwart on defense, Bradley lead's the team with eight assists this season as she finished with 14 points, third best of the team in 2008.
At forward, the Pride has been lead by the steady play of freshman Alexa Carlson (New Milford, Conn.). Carlson has teammed up with Kelleher on the Pride frontline and has tallied 13 points on three goals and seven assists.
Springfield’s defense is anchored by NEWMAC Field Hockey First Team selection Jill Urtz (Verona, N.Y.) and second team selection and fellow senior Katherine McCarthy (Conway, Mass.). Together they head up a defense that has posted a a solid goal against average of 1.29.
Freshman goalie Alison McCarthy enters the NCAA playoffs with a 1.19 GAA and 80 saves on the season for a .808 save percentage. McCarthy has posted a 14- 4 record on the season with two shutouts.
Springfield’s head coach Melissa Rogers was named the NEWMAC Field Hockey Coach of the Year and is now in her fifth year with the Pride. In five seasons, Rogers has compiled a 93-23 record, good for an unheard of winning percentage of .801, while leading the Pride to the NCAA Tournament in all five seasons.
These two teams met earlier this season, and in fact the Owls handed the Pride one of its six losses on the season. espite scoring just 56 seconds into the game, the 12th-ranked Springfield College field hockey team fell to the visiting Keene State Owls, 2-1, in non-conference action. Kelleanne Salazar made two saves in goal for Springfield as she faced just eight shots in the entire game. The Pride held a 16-8 advantage in shots and a 10-3 edge in penalty corners, including eight in the second stanza.