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Amherst College > Athletics > Field Hockey > Jeffs Eliminated in NCAA Regional
Jeffs Eliminated in NCAA Regional
November 4, 2000

AMHERST, Mass. - Sunday afternoon's NCAA Division III national field hockey quarterfinals will feature a rematch of the 1997 NCAA title game, after William Smith College and SUNY-Cortland (Cortland State) both advanced in regional semifinal games hosted by Amherst College on Saturday. The Herons advanced to the Elite Eight with a 3-0 victory over New England College, while Cortland avenged a 2-0 loss in the 1999 NCAA Final Four with a 2-0 victory over the host Jeffs, ending Amherst's season at 14-3.

New England College
goalie Krista Milroy fights
a William Smith flurry
In the first game of the regional semifinal doubleheader, the Herons, the top-ranked team in the nation in the latest NFHCA poll, came out on the offensive in the first period, outshooting the Commonwealth Coast Conference champions 16-1. William Smith's best opportunity of the first half came with 12:16 remaining, but a penalty stroke from Heron junior Lauren vonBereghy (Hartland, WI) skidded just wide of the left post, preserving the scoreless tie through halftime. The Herons, who had not played a game since October 21, were unable to convert on a number of chances in the first 35 minutes. Much of the credit for that was also due to sophomore New England goalie Krista Milroy (West Springfield, MA), who would finish with 15 saves - matching a season-high - in the game.

"It took us a half to get our game legs back," said William Smith Coach Sally Scatton. "It's frustrating to have so many chances, but what you hope is to keep the team's spirits up."

That would prove not to be a problem for the Herons, who continued their dominating offensive play from the opening whistle of the second half, breaking through just 2:20 into the period on an unassisted score from junior Nicky Livingston (Whitney Point, NY), her ninth of the year. The William Smith goal opened the floodgates, as the Herons leveled nine shots on the Pilgrim net in the opening 10 minutes of the half.

Just into the 10th minute after halftime, William Smith extended their lead, after a shot from a Heron attacker deflected off Milroy's pads to William Smith sophomore Sheila McKevitt (Clinton, NY). McKevitt converted the rebound for her 17th goal of the year, but the Herons still weren't done there. The top-seeded team in the bracket added one more tally - a goal from senior Sage Lansing (Lake Forest, IL) off a perfect right-to-left crossing pass from Livingston with 16 minutes remaining - to cap the scoring in a 3-0 final, William Smith's Division III-best 17th-consecutive victory.

"We started off playing a very defensive game, and we were sitting back on our heels," said New England Coach Susan Murray. "William Smith is clearly a well-coached, well-organized, very athletic team, and it wouldn't surprise me if they went all the way."

First, however, the Herons will have to get past the Red Dragons of SUNY-Cortland, who eliminated host Amherst with a 2-0 victory in the nightcap, a much closer affair than the 2-0 final would indicate.

Cortland's Andy Noyes
scored the game-winner
against Amherst
In the rematch of Amherst's 2-0 victory in the 1999 national semifinals, the first half saw the two teams battle back and forth, with the Red Dragons holding a 7-3 edge in shots. One shot from Amherst sophomore Abby Ouimet (Hatfield, MA) skirted just wide of the post, while a pair of Cortland shots, including one each from sophomore Julie Gentner (Williamsville, NY) and junior Kim Anthony (Whitney Point, NY) were turned away by junior Jeff goalie Beth Sensing (Hockessin, DE). Overall, both teams had their chances in the opening half, but neither converted.

"We made some adjustments at halftime to get more depth on our attack," said Cortland Coach Cynthia Wetmore. "We were in the right spots in the second half." Amherst Coach Chris Paradis agreed. "They really took the game to us, especially on offense. We just struggled to put things together."

The game remained deadlocked through the first dozen minutes of the second half, but the momentum was definitely favoring the visitors, who posted three early second-half shots. On the third, Cortland midfielder Erin Ryder (Hopewell Junction, NY) sent a rocket into the penalty circle, which was deflected by junior Andi Noyes (Afton, MA) at the top of the circle, and past Sensing into the back of the net. Noyes' goal, her first of the season, gave Cortland a 1-0 lead that they would not relinquish.

From there, Cortland's midfield began to take over possession, limiting the hosts to isolated runs, and no real scoring threats. Though Amherst earned four second-half penalty corners, they managed no shots on goal in the second period, the first time all season that they were held shot-less in a half. Cortland would seal the game with 5:12 remaining after a scramble in front of the Amherst net saw the ball deflected to Anthony, who converted for her fifth goal of the year, capping the scoring at 2-0.

"It was a sweet victory for us," said Wetmore. "We wanted to step up and show that we could beat a team like Amherst." With the win, Cortland's 13th of the season, the Red Dragons advance to Sunday's NCAA national quarterfinal against William Smith, a familiar foe in a rivalry dating back to 1973. Cortland has a 21-12 edge all-time, but that includes William Smith's 2-1 victory at Cortland on October 11 of this year, a game that saw the Herons rally from a 1-0 halftime deficit. The two New York powers have met three times previously in the NCAA Tournament, including the most recent meeting, the Herons' 3-0 victory in the 1997 NCAA championship game. Gametime for Sunday is 1:00 p.m.

Amherst, with the loss, finishes with a record of 14-3, their second-best finish in program history, despite playing the last five games without injured Co-captain Gretchen Bowe (Hampstead, NH), the NESCAC Field Hockey Player of the Year. New England, who won their first-ever NCAA Tournament game on Wednesday with a 1-0 win at Plymouth State, finishes their 2000 campaign with a record of 15-3.
Saturday, November 4, 2000     1     2   --   F
New England College (15-3)   0     0   --   0
William Smith College (17-1)   0     3   --   3

WS - Nicky Livingston (9, unassisted), 32:40 remaining (2nd);
WS - Sheila McKevitt (17, unassisted), 25:56 remaining (2nd);
WS - Sage Lansing (4, Livingston), 17:50 remaining (2nd);

NEC - Krista Milroy (70 min., 3 goals allowed), 15 saves;
WS - Marjie MacVean (70 min., 0 goals allowed), 1 save;

WS - 31, NEC - 2;

Penalty Corners:
WS - 20, NEC - 0;

WS - 1 (Livingston, 2nd/10:16, green); NEC - none;

Attendance - 225;

Saturday, November 4, 2000     1     2   --   F
SUNY-Cortland (13-4)   0     2   --   2
Amherst College (14-3)   0     0   --   0

C - Andi Noyes (1, Erin Ryder), 22:02 remaining (2nd);
C - Kim Anthony (5, Julie Gentner), 5:12 remaining (2nd);

C - Becky Gillette (70 min., 0 goals allowed), 5 saves;
AC - Beth Sensing (70 min., 2 goals allowed), 6 saves;

C - 15, AC - 5;

Penalty Corners:
C - 13, AC - 7;

C - 1 (Stacey Russell, 2nd/16:23, green);
AC - 1 (Marcy Busch, 2nd/8:23, green);

Attendance - 435;