Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. - The second-seeded Elms College field hockey team will square off with visiting three-seed Wheelock College in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) tournament semifinals at Leary Field Wednesday evening. Face off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
The Blazers wrapped up the 2014 regular season with a 5-14 overall record, and a 3-2 mark in NECC play. Elms was riding a three-game win streak with victories over Regis (3-0), Daniel Webster (5-1), and Wheelock (4-1) before dropping their final two matches of the year, including a 3-2 loss to Bay Path on penalty strokes in the regular season finale. Offensively, the Blazers are 1.63 goals per game on 11.2 shots, while holding opponents to 2.7 goals on 20.9 shots.
The Elms' offensive attack has been helmed by the senior duo of forwards Kayla Narey (South Hadley, Mass.) and Emma Morgan (South Kingstown, R.I.), who have registered a team-high 16 points apiece, with six goals and four assists. Morgan and Narey are tied for first in the NECC in assists, and third in goals and points. Senior midfielder Imogen Leonard (Sharon, Mass.) has tallied nine points with three goals and three assists, while senior forwards Meghan Goodrow (Sunderland, Mass.) and Kelly Martin (Enfield, Conn.) each have netted a pair of goals. Sophomore defender Stephanie Esposito (Orange, Conn.) has been one of the team's top distributors with three assists, and junior defender Abby McNulty (Bedford, Mass.) has two assists with a goal. Junior goalkeeper Samantha Alvino (Holtsville, N.Y.) has started all 19 games in goal for the Blazers, registering a 2.53 goals against average, a .808 save percentage, with 206 saves and two shutouts. Alvino leads the NECC in save percentage, and ranks second in goals against average and third in saves.
Wheelock College posted a 4-10 overall record for 2014, and a 3-2 mark in the NECC. The Wildcats closed their campaign dropping four of their last five matches, including a 12-0 loss to Johnson & Wales and a 7-1 defeat at Western Connecticut State. Wheelock is producing 1.5 goals on 10.6 shots on offense, and limiting opponents to 5.2 goals per game on 26.7 shots,
The Wildcats are led by sophomore midfielder Emma Panto (Somers, Conn.) with a team-high seven goals with team-high four assists, ranking second in the NECC in goals and points (18). Freshman forward Katelyn Frade (Dartmouth, Mass.) is the leading scorer among NECC freshman with six goals and an assist. Junior forward Elizabeth Cooper (Mansfield, Mass.), junior defender Jen Ryan (Bellingham, Mass.) and freshman forward Kennelya Ellis (Stoughton, Mass.) have each added two goals, while sophomore midfielder Courtney Scherer (Pawcatuck, Conn.) has dished out a team-high four assists. Freshman goalie Nicole Miranda (Westbrook, Maine) has appeared in net for all 14 Wildcats games, recording a 5.14 goals against average, a .678 save percentage, with 154 saves and a shutout. Miranda ranks fifth in the NECC in saves and goals against average.
In their meeting earlier this season, the Blazers defeated the Wildcats, 4-1, in a home contest. The teams played scoreless for over 35 minutes until Morgan scored off a pass from Martin, followed by strikes from senior forward Hannah O'Brien (Granby, Conn.), Goodrow and Narey en route to the victory. Over the history of the match, the Blazers own a 14-10 advantage over the Wildcats, winning the last three games by a combined score of 13-2. The winner of the match will face the winner of top-seeded Becker College and fourth-seed Regis College.
ELMS FIELD HOCKEY