Chris Sponagle

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NCAA Division II First Round

Division II finished up Conference Tournaments on Sunday, November 5. The NCAA Tournament begins on November 11 with the First Round. The two First Round matches will be hosted by Saint Anselm and Kutztown. The Semifinals and Final will be hosted by Saint Anselm at Grappone Stadium in Manchester, N.H.

First Round: Friday, November 11

Semifinals: Friday, November 17

Championship: Sunday, November 19


Click here for the NCAA Field Hockey Division II interactive bracket.

First Round | Saturday, November 11


NO. 3 SAINT ANSELM vs NO. 6 ASSUMPTION | NE10 NOW TV

The Division II NCAA Tournament kicks off on Saturday, November 11 with a familiar match-up between No. 3 Saint Anselm and No. 6 Assumption.

Riding off the high of winning the NE10 Conference title, Saint Anselm discovered that not only would they have a spot in the NCAA postseason, but their First Round match-up would be against the team they had just defeated – Assumption. In an extremely close contest, the Hawks came back from a one goal deficit to win 2-1 over the Greyhounds. Sophomore Maggie Burchill tallied both goals, while NE10 Tournament MVP Mackenzie McConnell made six saves inbetween the posts. It was just one week prior that Saint Anselm had won the same match-up, also 2-1, but via a penalty shootout. McConnell posted five saves, while junior goalkeeper Sidney Falterer stepped in to make a big stop on a Greyhounds penalty stroke in overtime.

In the NE10 championship match, the lone goal for Assumption came from Mia Salah, who was named to the NE10 All-Tournament First Team alongside freshman May van Woudenberg. Salah has picked up 11 goals so far this season for the Greyhounds, second offensively to Lily Daly with 15. Assumption made it to the NE10 title match by defeating fellow NCAA Tournament selection Pace 3-2 in the semifinal, after garnering a big 6-1 victory over Franklin Pierce in the quarterfinal. In her 12th season leading the Greyhounds, head coach Annie Lahey was named the NE10 Coach of the Year.

Saint Anselm enters the NCAA postseason with an impressive 18-3 overall record, which includes wins over West Chester, Shippensburg, and Pace. Assumption sits at 15-6, with two of their six losses being to the Hawks. In overall meetings, Saint Anselm has a slight edge of 19-17. In the 2022 NCAA First Round, it was the Greyhounds who bested the Hawks, 2-1, in overtime. 

The winner will go on to play PSAC champion No. 1 East Stroudsburg in the Semifinal, which will also take place at Saint Anselm’s Grappone Stadium.



NO. 4 KUTZTOWN vs PACE | GOLDEN BEARS SPORTS NETWORK

Pace will travel to Kutztown, Pa. to match-up with No. 4 Kutztown for the first time in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.

After missing out on the NCAA Tournament last season despite a solid showing on the year, Kutztown finally punched their ticket for the first time since 2019. The Golden Bears most recently fell to No. 2 Shippensburg in overtime in the PSAC semifinal, and now hold a 16-3 overall record – their only losses on the season being to No. 1 East Stroudsburg and the No. 2 Raiders. Kutztown performed exceptionally on defense this fall, posting 14 shutouts that included three over ranked teams. With the assistance of the defensive line, including PSAC Defender of the Year Sarah Gatehouse, senior goalkeeper Mia Kepler ranks second in the nation in save percentage (0.818) and number one in goals against average (0.44).

13-7 Pace will be returning to the NCAA postseason for the first time since their previous appearance in 2018. The Setters most recently were defeated by NE10 rival Saint Anselm, 3-2, in the NE10 semifinal match, after shutting out Southern New Hampshire 1-0 in the quarterfinal. Junior Krista Dietz, who tallied the lone goal of the match, has been unstoppable on offense this season – tallying 23 goals and 14 assists. The first Setter to be named NE10 Player of the Year, Dietz currently sits at the number one spot in Division II for points per game (3.1), goals per game (1.2), and assists per game (0.7). Dietz was joined by fellow junior Noëlle Meij on the NE10 All-Tournament First Team.

Against mutual PSAC opponents this season, Pace fell 3-2 to Bloomsburg where Kutztown picked up a 3-0 victory. The Setters picked up their biggest win of the season when they defeated No. 1 East Stroudsburg 4-3, a match-up that the Golden Bears had lost 2-1.

The winner of this match-up will advance to the Semifinal, where they will take No. 2 Shippensburg.