2023 NCAA Tournament Championship: Division I, II & III
The Final for all three divisions of the NCAA Field Hockey Tournament will take place on Sunday, November 19.
The Semifinals for all three divisions took place on Friday, November 17.
NO. 1 NORTH CAROLINA vs NO. 2 NORTHWESTERN | 1:30 PM ET | ESPNU
Top two in the nation No. 1 North Carolina and No. 2 Northwestern will rematch for the Division I NCAA Championship trophy on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Last season, the unstoppable Tar Heels defeated the Wildcats 2-1 to claim their tenth ever NCAA title, finally surpassing Old Dominion for the record of most NCAA Championship wins in Division I. Northwestern is returning to the Final for the third consecutive time – winning their first ever title in 2021 against Liberty and falling to North Carolina in 2022.
When Northwestern won their lone NCAA title in 2021, they were 18-5 and had been knocked out of the B1G tournament in the quarterfinals. This season, the 21-1 Wildcats are on a 21 game win streak – this time, claiming the B1G regular season and tournament title. Northwestern kicked off the NCAA postseason with a 3-0 shutout against Miami (OH), then defeated Louisville 3-2 in the Second Round. It was another close victory for the Wildcats in their Semifinal match against Duke. Ilse Tromp put Northwestern on the board in the first quarter with a penalty corner drag flick, and the defense retained that lead until Duke tied it up in the third. With the pressure building, freshman Olivia Bent-Cole dribbled up the field and fed the ball to Regan Cornelius who sent it into the cage – giving the Wildcats a 2-1 lead that they were able to hold onto for the win.
17-3 North Carolina also won their respective conference tournament – claiming the ACC title for the seventh consecutive season and 26th time in program history with a 2-0 win over Duke. The Tar Heels then dominated Williams & Mary 6-1 in the NCAA First Round, and took down Harvard 4-2 in the Second. Rematching Virginia after a win and loss in the regular season, North Carolina shut out the Cavaliers 2-0 in the Semifinals. ACC Offensive Player of the Year Ryleigh Heck notched the game-winner in just the seventh minute when she sent in a shot off a pass from Paityn Wirth. Wirth picked up another assist in the second quarter on a penalty corner shot that was tipped in by Sietske Brüning.
The Tar Heels have won four of the past five NCAA Championships, with the Wildcats breaking up their streak in 2021 – which was also the last time that North Carolina did not appear in the NCAA Final match.
In North Carolina’s 2022 NCAA Championship win over Northwestern, it was Tar Heels head coach Erin Matson who tallied the game-winning goal in the final minutes, just 40 seconds after the Wildcats had found the equalizer.
FINAL: NORTH CAROLINA 2, NORTHWESTERN 1
NO. 1 EAST STROUDSBURG vs NO. 4 KUTZTOWN | 1 PM ET | NCAA
It’s underdog No. 4 Kutztown taking on the reigning champion No. 1 East Stroudsburg in the Division II NCAA Championship on Sunday.
It was a magic moment for the Kutztown Golden Bears on Friday night in Manchester, N.H. After falling to Shippensburg twice earlier this season, Kutztown finally defeated the Raiders to earn a spot in the NCAA Final for the first time since 1997. In their regular season conference loss, the Golden Bears played a back and forth match with the Raiders that ended 3-2, with the game-winner from PSAC offensive leader Tess Jedeloo. Their second meeting of the year came in the PSAC semifinal match, which went into overtime after regulation ended without a goal from either team. It was Jedeloo again who tallied for Shippensburg, notching the golden goal seven minutes into overtime for a 1-0 victory.
The third time was the charm for Kutztown in the NCAA Semifinal. Shippensburg struck first with a goal by Jedeloo in the first quarter, but it would be the only goal allowed by goalkeeper Mia Kepler, who went on to make seven saves. Freshman Jessica Traynor found the tying goal just five minutes later with a backhand finish off a penalty corner rebound shot by Mackenzie Kile. Defense on both sides persisted for almost the entire remainder of the game, until junior Juliana Donato fed the ball into the circle to Kile, who was fouled to earn a penalty stroke for the Golden Bears in the 57th minute. Stepping up herself to take the penalty, Kile found the back of the net to score what would be the winning goal in Kutztown’s 2-1 victory.
The Golden Bears are now 18-3 overall after defeating Pace 2-1 in the NCAA First Round and Shippensburg 2-1 in the Semifinals. Kutztown is on the prowl for their first-ever NCAA Championship trophy.
Alternatively, the 18-2 East Stroudsburg Warriors dominated Assumption in their Semifinal match after receiving a bye in the First Round. It was a 3-0 shutout for the Warriors, with the opening goal coming from senior Grace Lesh in the sixth minute off a redirected penalty corner shot. It would prove to be all they needed, as the defense held the Greyhounds to just five shots on goal – all stopped by goalkeeper Amy Supey, including a penalty stroke opportunity. Freshman Minke Klijn locked down the victory with two more goals – one in the first and another in the fourth quarter. PSAC Athlete of the Year Jady van Gils picked up her fifth assist of the season on Klijn’s first goal.
The Warriors defeated Shippensburg 2-1 to claim this year’s PSAC title after defeating them 1-0 in the NCAA Championship match in 2022. East Stroudsburg is seeking their third NCAA title.
The Golden Bears and Warriors played an extremely tight contest earlier this fall, on September 26. Kutztown’s Jillian Buchman got the scoring started with a goal in the 33rd minute, but East Stroudsburg’s Maddy Barbush tied the score at 1-1 with a penalty stroke goal in the final three minutes of regulation. Graduate student Nicole Krozser tallied the game-winner just a few minutes into extra time to give the Warriors the 2-1 victory.
FINAL: EAST STROUDSBURG 1, KUTZTOWN 2
NO. 1 MIDDLEBURY vs NO. 4 JOHNS HOPKINS | 1 PM ET | NCAA
It’s another rematch for No. 1 Middlebury and No. 4 Johns Hopkins, who met in the Division III NCAA Championship in both 2021 and 2022.
In 2021, the 22-0 Panthers took down the Blue Jays 4-1 in the NCAA Final. In 2022, 21-1 Middlebury won their fifth straight NCAA Championship after they defeated Johns Hopkins 1-0 in overtime. This year, the Blue Jays will try their luck for the third time against a truly dominant force in NCAA Field Hockey. The 21-0 Panthers are the only program to have won five consecutive NCAA titles, and this year’s team is looking to break program records in win streak (tied for third with 30), single season shutouts (tied for first with 13), and single season goals (tied for second with 104).
Middlebury began their 2023 NCAA run with a 7-0 win over William Smith in the Second Round, then followed it up with a 3-0 shutout against No. 5 Messiah. It was another 3-0 win for the Panthers when they took on No. 2 Babson in the Semifinals. After a scoreless first quarter, Middlebury then tallied a goal in each of the remaining frames. First Team All-American Amy Griffin put the Panthers on the board 1-0 in the second quarter off a slip from Sadie LeStage on a penalty corner. On another penalty corner opportunity in the third quarter, Caroline Segal found the rebound to double her team’s lead. A third and final goal for Middlebury came in the last few minutes of play, when Lilly Branka scored off an assist from Segal. Babson’s three shots on goal were all denied by senior goalkeeper KK Newton.
With their own impressive record, 21-1 Johns Hopkins also received a bye in the NCAA First Round. The Blue Jays defeated No. 24 Ithaca in the Second Round, then shutout No. 6 Salisbury in the Third. Johns Hopkins ended Kean’s run of upsets in the Semifinal by defeating them 2-0. Despite the Cougars continuing to battle until the end, Johns Hopkins outshot their opponent 22(16) - 3 (1). Senior Mikaya Schoff – who registered the game-winner against Salisbury – did the same against the Cougars after dribbling through several defenders and slipping the ball past the goalkeeper in the 26th minute. Sophomore Grace Waldeck added an insurance goal for the Blue Jays off a third quarter penalty corner.
The duo has only ever matched up in NCAA Championship games. Johns Hopkins is looking for their first NCAA trophy in program history in their third title game appearance, while Middlebury will look for their seventh overall title.
FINAL: MIDDLEBURY 2, JOHNS HOPKINS 0