Pilgrims earn trip to TCCC Championship
BEVERLY, Mass. – For the seventh consecutive season, the New England College field hockey team got the better of the Endicott College Gulls in The Commonwealth Coast Conference playoffs, as the Pilgrims advanced to the TCCC finals with a 2-1 victory over Endicott College on Wednesday afternoon in Beverly, Mass. NEC improves to 14-7 this season while Endicott falls to 11-8 and will hope for a bid to the ECAC Tournament.
The Pilgrims came out in full force early as NEC forced a penalty corner just over a minute into the game. The Gulls’ defense fought off the threat, however, and pushed play back into the NEC part of the field and fired four shots on goalkeeper Mary Roux (Auburn, Mass) that were all turned away. On the ensuing possession, NEC’s Rachel Carnaroli (Bellingham, Mass.) crossed the ball in front of the net on a break out and Marisa Ayotte (Feeding Hills, Mass.) deposited the ball on the exposed goal for an early 1-0 lead that held up until halftime.
Heading into the break, Endicott held the edge in shots (8-6) while NEC had the advantage in corners, 6-4.
NEC wasted no time securing an insurance goal as Heather DiNapoli (Concord, N.H.) blasted a shot from just inside the circle that found the back of the net for a 2-0 lead. The Gulls would have their chances in the frame as Roux turned away five shots in the period. Endicott finally got on the board in the closing seconds as Alexandra Parese (Wilton, Conn.) corralled a Joanne Reid (Clarksville, Md.) missed shot and scored. It was too late however as time expired on the game and the Pilgrims had a 2-1 upset in hand.
Roux made nine saves in the victory while facing 16 shots while her counterpart Taylor Teixeira (Exeter, N.H.) suffered the setback for Endicott as the freshman made four saves on nine NEC shots. The Gulls did not allow a penalty corner in the second half and finished the game with more shots (16-9) and penalty corners (9-6) than the visitors.
Dating back to 2003, New England College has ended the Endicott field hockey team’s TCCC Playoff run in every season. The Pilgrims have defeated the Gulls in the Semifinals in 2005, 2007 and now 2009 while defeating Endicott in the Finals in every other year.
NEC moves onto the TCCC Finals to be played on Saturday against the #3 seed Nichols College at 1:00 p.m. in Dudley.
(Courtesy of Endicott Sports Information)