2013 National Champions Crowned
No mathematical formula could have predicted the final match ups for the respected 2013 National Championship games. This past Sunday the title matches were played in blistering cold temperatures where one could even argue the playing conditions as an advantage for the northeast competitors. Through the 2013 fall season story lines were erased, the will to win stunned and heart prevailed more than any possible preparation tactic.
The University of Connecticut defeated the Duke Blue Devils 2-0 yesterday afternoon to capture their third National Championship in program history. The Huskies capped off a tremendous season on the highest of note with a record of 21-4 and being crowned the 2013 Division I National Champions. Duke finishes their impressive season 17-7 as Head Coach Pam Bustin marked her first trip to the title game in her coaching career.
In the opening minutes, Duke was awarded early corner attempts but through UConn’s stonewall defense and extreme efforts by goalie, Sarah Mansfield the Huskies were able to fend off the Blue Devils pressure.
UConn capitalized on two first half goals to secure a 2-0 lead over Duke in the first half. The Huskies scored on their second corner of the match when Chloe Hunnable gathered a rebound in front of the cage. Connecticut struck again with five minutes remaining in the first half of the contest on another corner opportunity. UConn’s McKenzie Townsend extended the teams lead when she redirected a shot in front of the net.
Shippensburg met Long Island in the Division II National Championship game this past Sunday, as both teams were vying for their programs first title. Shippensburg struck first, which seemed enough but Long Island answered with about five minutes remaining on the clock to take the game into overtime.
During the extended overtime period, Shippensburg was awarded a stroke after a Long Island defensive foot blocked a shot en route to the goal line. The stroke propelled Shippensburg to their national title and handed Long Island their first loss of the 2013 season.
The Bowdoin Polar Bears from Brunswick, Me. stood victorious in very familiar weather conditions on Sunday, winning the 2013 NCAA Division III title. Bowdoin beat Salisbury 1-0 in the championship match0up. The Polar Bears claimed their fourth title in seven years giving coach Nicky Pearson, a ranking of second amongst Division II coaches as she holds an impressive four NCAA Titles.
USA Field Hockey would like to congratulate all the field hockey programs across the U.S. for a great 2013 season!