Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The second-seed Elms College field hockey team shut down visiting three-seed Becker College, 6-0, in the 2017 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Field Hockey Championship Semifinals at Leary Field Wednesday night.
With 24:20 remaining in the opening stanza, the Blazers broke a scoreless tie as freshman Carissa Ramirez (San Diego, Calif.) dribble through the Hawks defense and ripped a shot from the top of the attacking zone to stake Elms to a 1-0 advantage.
In the 29th minute, the Blazers capitalized on their first penalty corner of the game as sophomore Olivia Keane (Enfield, Conn.) played the corner to the top of the zone, where sophomore Madison Gabel (Agawam, Mass.) slid a pass to her left and Ramirez fired a shot to the back of the cage, extending the lead to 2-0. The Blazers maintained their 2-0 edge heading into half.
Just over seven minutes into the second half, Gabel launched a shot towards the back post of the cage, where junior Hayley Omahen (San Diego, Calif.) knocked a one-time out of the air and past Becker junior keeper Alexis Berry (Manchester, N.H.) to push the advantage to 3-0. Less than a minute later, Elms junior Madison Messier (Warren, Mass.) five-holed a Hawk defender and then rocketed a shot to the back of the cage to pad the advantage to 4-0.
Ramirez continued her onslaught in the second half, potting goals in the 55th and 58th minute, helping the Blazers secure the 6-0 victory and back-to-back title game appearances for Elms.
The Blazers owned the shot column against the Hawks, 15-7, and edged Becker in penalty corners, 8-5. Elms junior keeper Jillian Lapponese (Enfield, Conn.) made three saves in her fourth shutout of the season, while Barry stopped for shots for the Hawks.
The Blazers (7-12) will travel to top-seed Wheelock College for the NECC Championship match Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. match. The Hawks wrapped up the 2017 campaign with a 2-18 record.
ELMS FIELD HOCKEY