Nov. 9, 2009
Center Valley, Pa. - For the second straight season, Patriot League Field Hockey Champion American will need a win over Northeast Conference Champion Lock Haven to earn a berth in the NCAA Division I Field Hockey Tournament.
The Eagles will play host to Lock Haven on Tuesday at 1 p.m in an NCAA Tournament Play-In game. The same two teams met in Washington, D.C. last year, with American posting a 2-0 victory to advance to the field.
Tickets to the game are $5 for adults and $3 for youth and can be purchased on Tuesday at the gate. The winner will move on to the NCAA Tournament Round of 16, which will be announced on Tuesday evening on ncaa.com
American won its seventh consecutive Patriot League Championship on Saturday, as the top-seeded and host Eagles beat No.3 seed Lafayette, 2-0, in the title game. American defeated No. 4 Lehigh, 7-1, in the semifinals on Friday. Senior defender Anne-Meike de Wiljes was named Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player, and she was joined on the All-Tournament squad by teammates Savannah Graybill, Christine Fingerhuth and Kelsey Davis.
Lock Haven won its fourth straight NEC title with a 2-0 win over Monmouth on Saturday.
It is the ninth time that a Patriot League team will go to a play-in game for a berth in the NCAA Tournament, with American holding both of the League's victories. In addition to the win over Lock Haven, the Eagles beat another NEC team, Quinnipiac, 4-1, to advance to the 2003 NCAA Tournament. Those are the only two play-in matchups between the Patriot League and Northeast Conference.
The Eagles lost their other play-in game appearance, 3-2 in double overtime at Ohio in 2007. That was the only year since the streak of seven consecutive Patriot League titles began in 2003 that American did not advance to the NCAA Tournament.