Today: Apr 21, 2024

Field Hockey clinches first postseason berth in two years

Andrew Anastasio – Sports Writer

Owls Field Hockey has clinched their first postseason berth since 2010 after winning four of their final five games to finish with an 8-9 record. The fifth seeded Owls will face No. 4 Adelphi on Wednesday Oct. 24 in Garden City, NY.

Adelphi defeated Southern 3-2 earlier this season. The last time Southern was in the Northeast-10 tournament, in 2010, it was the Adelphi Panthers who eliminated the team with a 2-1 victory.

The Owls closed out their season last week with wins over Northeast-10 opponents Assumption and American International College and then lost to Bentley in the season finale.

“We are never at ease,” head coach Kelley Frassinelli said after last Tuesday’s victory over Assumption. “Right now, anything is still possible that can happen in the remaining game on our schedule. At this point, our spot can slide, so we are not set in stone until we finish our last game against Bentley. Obviously we are looking for consistency in our game, which is something we’ve been much better with. That has kind of helped with our wins and success. However, we need to be prepared that we have a tough week and anything can go at this point.”

Photo Courtesy | Jon Pater
Laurie Cockerine and the Owls head to the playoffs for the first time since 2010, when the lost to current opponent Adelphi.

In last Tuesday’s match up, the Owls early offensive surge proved to be the difference maker. Both freshman forward Bailey McGinnis and junior forward Sarah Cebry, whose single-season goals record increased to 22, each scored two goals in the game to propel the Owls to a 5-0 victory.

“I definitely would say we are moving a lot in the circle,” McGinnis said after the game. “The girls just seem to pass to each other in open spaces to ultimately give one another an opportunity to put the ball into the net.”

Frassinelli said after the game that she was content with the team’s performance despite their minor struggles in the second half.

“We are happy with the performance, but there’s a lot of things that happen in the game. No matter a win or not, we needed to do better,” Frassinelli said. “We talk about having ‘good’ wins and ‘good’ losses, and we felt that we played better in the first half than the second. There were a lot of little inconsistencies that we weren’t thrilled about.”

The Owls finished the game with a total of 18 shots on goal, 14 of which came in the first half, while Assumption posted 12 shots on goal, with 10 being recorded in the second half.  Despite Assumption’s offensive push late in the game, the Owls maintained the shutout behind freshman goalkeeper Audrey Dolloff’s 12 saves.

“The defense helped me out a lot,” Dolloff said. “They were there to back me up when I needed it.”

In Thursday’s game on the road against AIC, the Owls, led by McGinnis, senior forward Laurie Cockerline, senior mid-fielder/forward Erica Fisher and freshman forward Jennifer O’Neill, all tallied a goal each in Southern’s 4-2 victory–it was their second straight at home.

Dolloff finished the game with an overall total of 11 saves, 34 total during the four-game winning streak.

In the Owls season finale, senior defender Randi Schock, assisted by junior mid-fielder/defender Meghan Lahm, scored in the 64th minute to cut Southern’s deficit to one. However, the Owls were unable to score in the remaining five minutes of the game and were eventually dropped 2-1.

Despite the loss to Bentley, the Owls remain in possession of the sixth and final playoff spot for the Northeast-10 tournament, which will begin Oct. 24. Frassinelli said the team must not take any upcoming opponent for granted.

“We need to go back and review the film again,” Frassinelli said. “We need to check on little things we want to make sure happen in our game. It’s a totally different team we have playing on the field right now, just as is every other team. The game changes, and it changes for the other team too, so we need to review little pieces that we need to take advantage of against our opponents.”

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