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USA Field Hockey

Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic/South contend for title in Women's National Championship final

May 28, 2013, 6:15 p.m. (ET)

Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic/South contend for title in Women’s National Championship final

NORFOLK, Va. – May 28, 2013 – Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic/South today secured their spot in the final at the Women’s National Championship in Norfolk, Va. The final, slated for 1:00 p.m. tomorrow at Old Dominion University’s Powhatan Sports Complex, will be a rematch between the two teams that met on Monday and an opportunity for vengeance for Mid-Atlantic/South who fell 1-0 to Pennsylvania.

Today, Pennsylvania scored three goals in the first half en route to a 6-3 victory over the Under-21’s, while Mid-Atlantic/South produced a 5-0 shutout performance against Midwest/California.

“I thought there were very tight moments that could have gone either way, but it was great to see our team push through against great competition,” said Pennsylvania head coach Denise Zelenak. “The things that we have talked about and we have been developing game-to-game are being achieved. It is exciting to be in first place and I am really proud of our team.”

“I thought we were clinical in the circle,” said Mid-Atlantic/South head coach Grant Fulton. “We haven’t scored five goals all tournament and I am happy to keep a clean sheet. I am very happy for the girls who have worked very hard. It was a tough road but we managed to do enough and make the final.”

Ali McEvoy (Gilbertsville, Pa.) opened the scoring for Pennsylvania in the 5th minute on a textbook penalty stroke to the upper left corner of the cage. Teresa Benvenuti (Morristown, N.J.) equalized in the 12th minute with a goal scored on a penalty corner. Rachel Sumfest (Lewisburg, Pa.) recorded a second goal for Pennsylvania in the 25th minute and McEvoy tallied her second goal of the match, again on a penalty stroke, in the 29th minute to give Pennsylvania a two goal advantage heading into the second half.

Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) scored in the 39th minute for Pennsylvania but Benvenuti quickly followed with a goal in the 45th minute, keeping the goal deficit at two. Minutes later Emily Wold (Freehold, N.J.) put a goal on the board to close the gap, 4-3. However, Genna Kovar (Hampton Bays, N.Y.) recorded two back-to-back goals in the 62nd and 66th minute putting Pennsylvania up 6-3 as the clock ran down to zero.

Mid-Atlantic/South’s 5-0 shutout win over Midwest/California started with the Vittese sisters. Carissa Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) scored early on a penalty corner and Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) recorded a goal of her own minutes later. Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) recorded a third goal for Mid-Atlantic/South early in the second half and Michelle Vittese locked in her second goal of the match in the 41st minute. Taylor West (Princess Anne, Md.) finished off Mid-Atlantic/South’s scoring streak in the 70th minute.

Fulton says tomorrow’s matchup against Pennsylvania will be a tough, physical battle but a challenge his team is ready for.  

“We learned a few things from our first encounter with Pennsylvania and we are hoping to execute in the final.”

The final match of the day between New Jersey and New England/North finished in a 2-2 draw. Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) scored for New Jersey in the 21st minute but Kim Young (Sidney, N.Y.) evened the match at 1-1 before the end of the first half. Isabella Delario (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) put New England/North up by one goal in the 65th minute but Meredith Long (Ocean City, N.J.) once again evened the match 2-2 on a penalty corner after time had expired.

New Jersey will face the Under-21 team at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow and battle for a third place finish. New Jersey has won three consecutive Regional Champions titles at the Women’s National Championship (2010, 2011, 2012). New England/North will face Midwest/California for fifth place at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.

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