Lafayette, American Advance to Patriot League Field Hockey Championship

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Haley Keenan scored the game-winning goal for Lafayette in a 4-3 overtime win against Colgate.
Haley Keenan scored the game-winning goal for Lafayette in a 4-3 overtime win against Colgate.

Nov. 2, 2012

Patriot League Field Hockey Championship Central

EASTON, Pa. - No. 12 Lafayette and American will vie for the Patriot League Field Hockey Championship on Saturday at Rappolt Field after the top two seeds came away with wins in Friday's semifinal round of the Patriot League Tournament.

The top-seed Leopards had everything they could handle from fourth-seed Colgate, finally knocking off the Raiders 4-3 in overtime when Haley Keenan scored in the 82nd minute. Second-seed American had an easier time with third-seed Bucknell with an impressive 4-0 victory over the Bison.

Lafayette and American will meet in the Patriot League Championship game at 3 p.m. on Saturday, with plenty of history on the line in addition to the 2012 League title. The winner will have the most Patriot League titles to its name, as each squad has eight crowns to its credit. American won its eight titles consecutively from 2003-10, while the Leopards won Patriot League titles in 1995, 1999, 2002 and 2011 in the League Tournament after winning it all from 1990-93 before the postseason event began.

Both teams will be looking to exact a measure of revenge for recent results. American defeated Lafayette in the Patriot League Championship game in Washington in 2007, 2009 and 2010, and is 4-1 all-time against the Leopards in the Patriot League Tournament. Lafayette dealt the Eagles their only Patriot League loss this year, beating American 4-1 in the League opener on Sept. 29 in Washington on its way to an undefeated League campaign.

American is in the title game for the ninth time, with a perfect 8-0 record during its run of titles from 2003-10. Lafayette will appear in its 11th Patriot League Championship game, and has a 4-6 mark in title contests. American is trying to win the title as the No. 2 seed for the first time, while Lafayette aims to win the crown at home for the first time since 2002.

The winner of the Patriot League Championship moves on to face Ivy League champion Princeton, the No. 2-ranked team in the country, in an NCAA Play-In game on Tuesday. The contest will be played at Columbia University.

Recaps and box scores from the games are included below, along with a synopsis of each contest.

For more information on the Patriot League Field Hockey Tournament, visit Championship Central

at No. 12 Lafayette 4, Colgate 3
Box Score

EASTON, Pa. - After having the game tied three times by a resilient Colgate squad, No. 12-ranked Lafayette finally overcame the Raiders in overtime as Haley Kennan scored the game-winner in the 82nd minute in Friday's first semifinal of the Patriot League Field Hockey Tournament at Rappolt Field.

The top-seed Leopards advance to the League Championship for the fourth year in a row, and will look to defend their title against an American squad that defeated Lafayette in the championship in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

Lafayette got off to a fast start, as Deanna DiCroce notched her 16th goal of the season off an assist from Maria Machalick less than a minute into the contest to put the Leopards on the board. Colgate scored the first of its three equalizers in the 20th minute when Anna Reddicliffe converted off a pass from Halle Biggar to tie the score at 1-1.

It stayed that way until the half, but again it was Lafayette starting strong after intermission. Machalick tallied off a pass from Jenna Seybert for a 2-1 lead in the 41st minute, but it was a short-lived advantage as Colgate tied the score at 2-2 less than two minutes later when Kelsey Jensen scored off an assist from Adriana Libutti. Seybert scored off a corner, with assists from DiCroce and Emily Valeo, to give Lafayette a 3-2 lead in the 50th minute. It looked like the Leopards would hold on, but Jensen scored off a corner entry from Libutti with 2:44 to go to send the game to overtime.

Both teams had chances in the extra session, but it was Lafayette coming through at the 81:52 mark when Keenan deflected Seybert's shot off a corner to send the Leopards back to the Patriot League title game.

Despite the close final, Lafayette had numerous statistical advantages. The Leopards held a 28-7 edge in shots, 18-5 advantage in shots on goal and 19-2 mark in penalty corners. Seybert had a goal and two assists while DiCroce and Machalick each had a goal and an assist.

In addition to Jensen scoring twice and Libutti recording a pair of assists, Amanda DiDomizio was an individual standout for the Raiders. The sophomore kept Colgate close with 14 saves, and helped the Raiders turn aside the barrage of shots and penalty corners from the Leopards.

The teams were meeting in the Patriot League Tournament for the third time, and first since 1997. Lafayette holds a 2-1 advantage all-time against the Raiders in the tourney, with all three games in the semifinals.

American 4, Bucknell 0
Box Score

EASTON, Pa. - American scored late in the first half and poured it on after intermission for a 4-0 win over Bucknell in the second semifinal of the Patriot League Field Hockey Tournament on Friday at Rappolt Field.

The Eagles advance to the title game for the ninth time in 10 seasons, and first since their run of eight consecutive titles from 2003-10. American defeated Lafayette in the title contest in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

The second-seed Eagles got on the board first in the 33rd minute as Shelly Montgomery scored an unassisted goal. The Eagles added to the lead early in the second half when Isabel Terwindt tallied off a pass from Jaclyn Anspach in the 41st minute. Gina Hofmann padded the lead to 3-0 in the 52nd minute off assists from Kati Rothenhoefer and Julie Fosseprez on a corner, and Montgomery completed the scoring in the 66th minute when she tallied on a corner from Fosseprez and Carly Atchison.

It was a dominant statistical performance for the Eagles, who held a 13-4 edge in shots and 12-3 advantage in shots on goal. Montgomery led the way with the two goals, while Ashley Dalisera needed to make just three saves to record the shutout.

Erica Perrine made eight saves in goal for the Bison, who fell to American in the semifinals after beating the Eagles in the round last season. American improved to 3-1 in the Patriot League Tournament against Bucknell.