Links Courtesy of NCAA
And then there were four...
This time last year, the NCAA Final Fours were set! Relive some of the action of great match-ups, upsets and victories.
Biemesderfer Stadium | Millersville, Pa.
November 22, 2019 | Semifinals | 2:00 p.m. ET & 5:00 p.m. ET
November 24, 2019 | Final | 1:00 p.m. ET
No. 1 West Chester 2 - 0 No. 4 Kutztown
A rematch took place in the semifinal round of the NCAA Division II Tournament as No. 1 West Chester took on No. 4 Kutztown in the first game. The Golden Rams are familiar with the pressure of the Final Four as they made their sixth appearance. Kutztown was having a record-breaking season in their second appearance ever in the tournament. Earlier in the season, the two teams met twice with each side walking away victorious on different occasions. West Chester earned a bye into the semifinals due to their regional rank, while Kutztown beat Southern New Hampshire in a shootout in the first round.
West Chester's Kat Roncoroni got things going late in the first quarter when she converted an opportunity on a penalty corner in the 15th minute. Marre Corver tipped a shot from Sydney Ostroski past Kutztown's goalkeeper Kerri Hanshaw in the 22nd minute for the insurance tally.
Kutztown was limited to just one shot all game as West Chester defended their circle vigorously. The Golden Bears, the only team to beat the Golden Rams this fall, never got enough of an offensive rush forward to West Chester's goalkeeper Claire Nielsen.
Hanshaw made four saves in the cage for Kutztown while Nielsen pushed aside the lone shot she saw off a penalty corner in the third quarter.
West Chester held an 8 to 2 advantage in penalty corners and a 12 to 2 advantage on shots.
No. 3 Saint Anselm 1 - 0 No. 2 East Stroudsburg (2OT)
No. 3 Saint Anselm and No. 2 East Stroudsburg met in the NCAA Division II Final Four in the second semifinal game. To earn their spot, East Stroudsburg held off Assumption by one goal in order to advance. Saint Anselm was awarded a bye directly into the semifinal round as they patiently awaited the announcement of their opponent. Having never met, this match-up had the possibility of going either way.
With both teams failing to score through 60 minutes of regulation and 10 minutes of the first overtime period, Saint Anselm's Hannah Friend fired a shot on the goal that was kept out with a defensive save by East Stroudsburg. The ensuing rebound spilled out to the goal mouth before play was whistled down for a defensive infraction, awarding the Hawks a penalty stroke.
The Hawks, who came into the NCAA Semifinals converting only one of their five chances on penalty strokes all season, turned to Emily Bevens. She converted with a shot on the left side of the goal, beating East Stroudsburg's goalkeeper Maddie Richie.
Bevens' goal was her team's fifth shot of the overtime period, a dramatic change from only two shots fired by Saint Anselm through regulation time. The Warriors took seven shots in four periods of regulation time, but it was all Saint Anselm in the overtime stanzas.
The Hawks had a tremendous scoring opportunity in the game's opening minutes as Carly LaCasse saw her shot cut down by Richie, sprinting out of the goal mouth to eliminate the chance. Saint Anselm had only one official shot on net in the game's first 30 minutes as both teams carried a 0-0 score into halftime.
East Stroudsburg fired four shots in the second half alone, forcing Hawks goalkeeper Julia Hand to make several saves to keep her squad in the game. No save proved to be larger than her final one of the contest. Following a Hawks offensive foul deep in the East Stroudsburg zone late in regulation time, the Warriors carried the ball up to field and directly to goal. Maddie Klinehad a point-blank shot attempt that was deflected aside by Hand, preserving the 0-0 score.
NCAA Division II Final
No. 1 West Chester 2 - 1 No. 3 Saint Anselm | Rewatch
No. 1 West Chester was dominant all year. Under the guidance of head coach Amy Cohen, the Golden Rams entered the NCAA Division II Final with 19-1 overall record. This was the first time West Chester found themselves back in the national title game since winning back-to-back championships in 2011 and 2012.
After winning the program's first-ever Northeast-10 (NE10) Conference title, No. 3 Saint Anselm earned a bid into the NCAA Division II Tournament and secured a first-round bye. Heading into this game, Saint Anselm was 20-2 and the Hawks had conceded only four goals all season, including four consecutive clean sheets in postseason play.
West Chester and Saint Anselm played once before on September 4, 2016. In that contest, the Hawks came away with a 3-2 road victory, despite the Golden Rams holding the edge in shots 20 to 7.
Marre Corver and Katie Thompson both scored in the first quarter to give the Golden Rams an early 2-0 lead. Corver tipped a shot from Kat Roncoroni past Saint Anselm goalkeeper Julia Hand in the ninth minute to put West Chester on top early. Thompson then doubled that lead with the eventual game-winner in the 12th minute on a backhand to the opposite side of the cage while falling to the ground.
The Hawks battled back late in the first half when they took advantage of six straight penalty corner opportunities. Saint Anselm finally broke through with just seven seconds left in the half on a goal from Maeve Murphy.
However, that was all that the Golden Rams' stingy defense and goalkeeper were willing to allow, shutting out the Hawks in the second half en route to the victory.
Saint Anselm found themselves in an unfamiliar position when the Golden Rams scored the first two goals of the game in the first quarter. However, a goal right before halftime lifted the Hawks' spirits and led to a very competitive and even-played second half.
West Chester led the advantage in shots, 11 to 7, with both teams producing four in the first half. Saint Anselm had more penalty corner chances, with a 9 to 4 advantage.