SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (November 6, 2006) - The Springfield College field hockey team earned a spot in the NCAA Division III Tournament with a win in the finals of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference tournament yesterday. The Pride, currently ranked #17 in Division III, defeated Wellesley College 5-4 in Wellesley, Mass. The play of sophomore forward Jane Kelleher (Chatham, Mass.) helped SC capture the NEWMAC title.
Entering the conference tournament, Kelleher had been named NEWMAC Player of the Week for Oct. 22-28. The award marked the third time Kelleher had been named NEWMAC Player of the Week this season.
During the past week, Kelleher had five goals in three games, including a score against Smith (Oct. 28) in the quarterfinals of the NEWMAC tournament. Kelleher’s hot play continued as she scored once in the semifinal round game versus Wheaton (Nov. 4), and twice more in the finals versus Wellesley (Nov. 5).
SC appeared to be in trouble in the NEWMAC finals when it dropped behind Wellesley 2-0 in the first half. It was Kelleher who lifted the Pride when she scored on a penalty stroke at 28:41. The goal seemed to kick-start the SC offense, which continued to attack before the half. In the final two minutes of the first half, SC scored three times, the last score coming from Kelleher with :08 second left before intermission.
In only her second season with the Pride, Kelleher started all twenty-two games she appeared in and was crucial to the team’s offensive production. Kelleher leads SC in points this season, netting 23 goals while adding five assists.
Jane is the daughter of Mark Kelleher of 37 Morton Rd. S. Chatham, Mass. Jane graduated from Harwich High School in 2005 and is now an athletic training major at Springfield College. Kelleher played field hockey, basketball, and softball while in high school at Harwich. Kelleher earned conference All-star honors twice in softball and four times in field hockey at Harwich.