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College Games: NCAA Division II First Round, Semifinals & Final

By Paige Powell, USA Field Hockey’s College Content Intern | Nov. 23, 2022, 9:12 a.m. (ET)

The 2022 NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championship bracket is set! Below is a breakdown of the upcoming games and how to watch!

Very few teams have the honor of advancing to the NCAA Division II Tournament – six to be exact – three from each region. From the Atlantic Region, the trio selected was West Chester, reigning NCAA Champion Shippensburg, and this year’s Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) champion East Stroudsburg. The East Region selections were Assumption, Saint Anslem and Northeast-10 (NE10) champion Adelphi. 

 

Kutztown, who finished No. 2 in the national poll with a 16-3 season,  and Millersville,  finishing in fifth with a 16-5 record, both were bumped out of the tournament by slim margins. Right behind them was South Athletic Conference (SAC) champion Converse.

 

Last season, it was Shippensburg who claimed the NCAA Title for the fourth time in five years. The success of the Raiders mirrors that of Division I’s North Carolina and Division III’s Middlebury – a dominant program with a target on their back. 


Sunday, November 27, 2022
NCAA First Round 

Worcester, Mass.

No. 4 Assumption 2 - 1 No. 5 Saint Anselm OT | 1:00 p.m. ET | NCAA.com

No. 4 Assumption hosts No. 5 Saint Anslem on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET in a matchup of two New England foes who have met more than 30 times in their history - including a game less than two weeks ago.

Assumption, the second seed in the NE10, was knocked out by Pace in the conference tournament quarterfinals but earned a bid after a 14-5 regular season campaign. The Greyhounds rebounded from tough season-opening defeats to West Chester and East Stroudsburg and went a sterling 8-1 at the friendly confines of Brian Kelly '83 Stadium. 

While Assumption was denied a chance to repeat as conference champions, they did go 11-2 in NE10 play and saw Kylie Gargiulo and Christina Leonard both earn All-NE10 First Team honors. Gargiulo was reliable in cage for the Greyhounds, while Leonard paced the offense with 12 goals.

Saint Anselm, meanwhile, earned a bid despite a similar exit in tournament play. The Hawks were the top seed in the NE10 and beat Southern New Hampshire in the quarterfinals before Adelphi came away with a 2-1 overtime victory. Saint Anselm - who were national runners-up in 2019 - had won nine straight games before the loss and 12 of the last 13.

The Hawks earned three major NE10 awards. Maggie Malloy was named Player of the Year, Mackenzie McConnell earned Goalkeeper of the Year, and Carolyn King-Robitaille was honored as Coach of the Year.

Saint Anselm holds a slim 17-16 edge in the historical series, recently breaking the tiebreaker on November 7. The Hawks scored with six minutes left in regulation to force overtime, then won in shootouts. The teams have alternated wins the last four meetings, which makes this quite the interesting first-round matchup.

West Chester, Pa.

No. 3 West Chester 10 - 1 No. 6 Adelphi | 1:00 p.m. ET | NCAA.com

No. 6 Adelphi and No. 3 West Chester will rematch in the NCAA First Round on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET.

After Shippensburg composed most of West Chester’s losses last season - including in the PSAC and NCAA Final - the Golden Rams had high expectations for their 2022 campaign. West Chester drew a tough card in the first round of the conference tournament with East Stroudsburg, and ended up falling to the Warriors, 2-1, in overtime. Despite this outcome, the Rams have had much success this season – falling only to top teams Millersville, Shippensburg and East Stroudsburg. 

The 14-4 Golden Rams have outscored opponents by a decisive 76-19 margin, paced by three players with double-digit goals: Valerie van Kuijck (16 goals), Claudia Jaszczak (14) and Jasmine Miller (11). This will be the ninth NCAA Division II Tournament appearance for West Chester, who has won the title as recently as 2019.

Adelphi enters the NCAA Tournament on the momentum of their first-ever NE10 Title. The 13-8 Panthers defeated Pace, 2-1, in the final to cement their place in program history. This, however, is not the first-time in the tournament for Adelphi. The Panthers are returning for the fourth time, most recently making an appearance in 2021. 

Leading the Panthers’ offense is graduate student Kaylee Deleva. Deleva has been heating up recently – she scored twice in all three NE10 matches, including all three game-winning goals. Unsurprisingly, Deleva was selected as the tournament MVP and honored on the All-Conference First Team. Other strong contributors to Adelphi’s offense include First Team selection Bianca Bachisin and Second Team selection Amanda Lee

The duo met most recently in the regular season, when West Chester had a dominant 4-0 victory. Jaszczak tallied twice in the win. Previously, the Rams and Panthers clashed in the 2021 iteration of the NCAA First Round. The outcome was similar - Adelphi fell 4-1 to West Chester, who continued on all the way to the final. In overall meetings, the Rams are 5-0. 

 

Thursday, December 1, 2022
NCAA Semifinals 

Renton, Wash.

No. 1 East Stroudsburg 3 - 0 No. 4 Assumption | 5:00 p.m. ET | NCAA.com

East Stroudsburg and Assumption will fight for a spot in the NCAA Division II Championship going head-to-head on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. ET.

East Stroudsburg continues their 18-2 season after winning the PSAC crown and earning the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Warriors won the conference for the third time in program history with a 3-2 overtime victory over Millersville. Morgan Mesenbrink scored the game-winning goal in extra time in the Warriors’ victory, earning her the PSAC Tournament’s MVP award. Goalkeeper Amy Supey picked up four saves on the day, showing off why she leads the division in goals against average (0.46) and save percentage (0.60).

In the 2021 iteration of the NCAA Tournament, ESU defeated Bentley in the first round but could not surpass Shippensburg in the semifinals, falling 2-1. The Warriors last appeared in the final in 2018, and most recently won it all in 2015. 

Last season, Assumption won their conference tournament and received a bye in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This put the Greyhounds straight into the semifinals, where they lost to West Chester, 3-0. This time around, Assumption started in the first round, where they claimed the program’s first-ever NCAA postseason win. The Greyhounds did so with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Saint Anslem, who they had lost to in shootouts earlier this season. After two quarters without a goal, Assumption found themselves trailing in the third. Sophomore Callie Beauparlant responded with the tying goal with just a few minutes left to play in the frame, giving Mia Salah the chance to net the game-winner just 30 seconds into overtime.

Early this fall, the Warriors downed the Greyhounds, 6-0. This was a very different result from their 2021 meeting, when Assumption came away with a 1-0 victory. The duo’s first meeting was in 2019 when ESU won 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

No. 2 Shippensburg 4 - 2 No. 3 West Chester | 8:00 p.m ET | NCAA.com

In a rematch of the 2021 NCAA Final, PSAC rivals Shippensburg and West Chester will meet to see who will continue on to the 2022 championship.

After placing behind East Stroudsburg and Shippensburg and missing out on a first-round bye, West Chester reminded everyone just how much they deserve to be in the tournament with a loud 10-1 victory over Adelphi. The Golden Rams scored five goals in the final quarter, and outshot their opponent 37-5. Valerie Van Kuijck, Caitlynn Szarko and Olivia Quagliero each tallied a pair of goals in the victory. Van Kuijck’s four points pushed her career total to 101, making just the fourth player in program history (at the Division II level) to reach 100 points – despite being just a sophomore.

Although they fell to Millersville in the PSAC Semifinals, Shippensburg was granted a bye in the first round of the NCAA postseason. The Raiders have a 15-3 season, with wins against tough opponents such as East Stroudsburg. This will be Shippensburg’s 16th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, with five of those ending in a championship trophy – most recently in 2021. Freshman Agus Garibaldi leads the Raider in goals (17) and points (40).

In last season’s 2021 NCAA Title match, Shippensburg dominated West Chester with a 3-0 victory and finished their campaign with a perfect 20-0 record. But when the pair met this fall, it was a much closer 2-1 win from the Raiders. In the tight match, Shippensburg’s Mya Kemp scored the game-winner in the final two minutes of the match. The victory marked the Raiders’ fifth consecutive win over the Rams. In their all-time matchups – dating all the way back to 1983 – Shippensburg holds a slight 13-11 advantage.

 

Saturday, December 3, 2022
NCAA Final 

No. 1 East Stroudsburg vs. No. 2 Shippensburg | 4:00 p.m. ET | NCAA.com

After a long season that has stretched itself all the way into December, the NCAA Division II Final s finally set. East Stroudsburg will take on reigning champion Shippensburg at 4:00 p.m. ET at Renton Memorial Stadium in Washington.

There is a certain buzz in the air in Renton, as field hockey will not be the only sport fighting for a trophy. Also occurring on Saturday in Washington, as part of the Division II Championships Festival, will be the men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball finals. 

East Stroudsburg enters the ring off of a six-game win streak as a part of their 19-2 season. The Warriors took down huge opponents West Chester, Kutztown and Millersville in the PSAC Tournament to claim the conference title, then matched up against Assumption in the NCAA Semifinals. Despite controlling possession in the first two quarters, ESU had trouble scoring against the Greyhounds, and found themselves tied 0-0 at the half. All that changed when senior defender Olivia Breen scored off of a penalty corner four minutes into the half. This opened the faucet for the Warriors, who saw a goal from freshman Julia Meijs just six minutes later. Senior Lia Parker tallied her eighth goal of the season in the fourth quarter to emphasize East Stroudsburg’s 3-0 victory over Assumption.  

This contest will be a rematch of the 2018 championship, which was also the last time that East Stroudsburg appeared in the final. The Warriors will seek to avenge their 1-0 loss to the Raiders. ESU has hoisted the NCAA trophy just once before, in 2015. 

For the fourth time in five seasons, Shippensburg will participate in the NCAA Final. Except they don’t just participate, historically, as the Raiders have won all four of those matches. After a perfect 20-0 season in 2021, Shippensburg took a slightly different path to the championship this year. The Raiders were eliminated in the semifinals of the PSAC Tournament by Millersville in a close 2-1 game, but their regular season performance was enough to secure them one of the coveted spots in the NCAA Tournament. 

The Raiders were put up against frequent foe West Chester in the semifinal, who they had beaten in the 2021 final and earlier this season. The match started off looking like a lock for Shippensburg, when Mya Kemp and Tess Jedeloo each notched a goal to make it 2-0 after the first quarter. But something shifted as West Chester picked up their energy in the second quarter, and really put the Raiders’ defense to work. The Rams’ first goal came soon into the third quarter, but was answered by another goal from Jedeloo less than a minute later. The drama heightened when West Chester scored on a penalty stroke, only to have it revoked after the officials deemed it had been taken improperly. Shippensburg took advantage and turned it around to net a fourth and final goal, this time off the stick of Lilly Cantabene.

Goalkeeper Lindsay Tripodo stepped up big time with a massive total of 22 saves on the day. Her performance made the win possible, despite seeing West Chester outshoot Shippensburg 42-8, including 26-7 for shots on goal. Senior Merel Hoekstra also had two defensive saves, bringing her total for the season to eight. 

In their long and storied history of meeting, the Raiders have 35 wins to the Warriors’ 24. When the pair clashed this season, Shippensburg came out with a close 1-0 victory. In the 2021 championship match, the Raiders won by an identical score.