Weekend College Games: October 26 - 28

Each week, USA Field Hockey highlights upcoming college games to watch. This edition covers the weekend of October 26 - 28.



Photo by: Brieanna Andrews
No. 1 Northwestern has the chance to lock up an undefeated B1G season when they host No. 7 Maryland on Thursday afternoon. 

Northwestern (15-1, 7-0 B1G) defended their top-ranked status this past weekend with a dramatic shootout victory over then-No. 4 Rutgers. The win marked a lot for the Wildcats – a program record 15th straight win, seventh B1G win, a historic undefeated road season, and share of the B1G season title. A large portion of Northwestern’s success is attributed to their impenetrable defense, which has only given up one goal in the past seven matches. This week’s Division I Defensive Player of the Week Annabel Skubisz made five saves in 80 minutes and turned away three penalty shootout attempts from the Scarlet Knights. In the game prior, Skubisz tallied her sixth consecutive shutout with a win against No. 15 Penn State. With the help of her skilled backline, Skubisz leads Division I in goals against average (0.49).

Similar to the Wildcats, Maryland (14-3, 6-1 B1G) had the most trouble in the B1G against Rutgers, going through two overtime periods and all the way to shootouts. The Terps did not prevail against the Scarlet Knights, however, suffering their first and only conference loss. Maryland went on to find success, defeating No. 5 Iowa 4-1 last Friday and Indiana 2-1 on Sunday. Sophomore Hannah Boss scored a career-high two goals against the Hawkeyes.

The Terps and Wildcats clashed three times last season. Maryland claimed a 2-1 regular season victory, while Northwestern won 2-1 in the B1G tournament and the NCAA Semifinal. The Terps lead overall matchups, 13-8.


Salve Regina will play Western New England for one final non-conference game before finishing out their season against MIT on Saturday. 

Salve Regina (9-5, 4-4 NEWMAC) is rearing to get back after a 2-1 overtime loss to WPI last weekend. Junior goalkeeper Bryn Protheroe displayed heroics in goal, making 17 saves – including seven in OT – for the Seahawks. Just the game before, Salve Regina was showing off on the offensive end with a 6-0 shutout against Clark. The win included a goal from sophomore Julia Decker, who currently ranks fifth in Division III for goals per game (1.36.)

Western New England (13-3, 2-3 CCC) concluded their conference schedule last week with a 1-0 loss to a strong Endicott team. It was another tough end for the Golden Bears, who had fallen to the University of New England in early October in double overtime. Overall on the season, WNE has enjoyed success, having started off their campaign with nine consecutive victories.

The Golden Bears have won the last three meetings with the Seahawks – a 6-2 win last season – and sit 10-14 overall.



The top two teams in the Atlantic 10 face off on Friday when No. 14 Saint Joseph's hosts La Salle at Ellen Ryan Field. 

Saint Joseph’s (13-4, 6-0 A10) has continued to dominate the A10, with one more challenger left before postseason play. The Hawks have just four losses on the year – all to teams that were ranked higher than them. This past weekend, Saint Joseph’s registered a non-conference rivalry win against Temple after clinching at least a share of the A10 regular season title with a 5-0 shutout against Davidson. A10 Offensive Player of the Week Sol Borensztein tallied the gamewinner against the Owls, in addition to two against the Wildcats.

After a few years of rebuilding, La Salle (12-4, 5-1 A10) has been enjoying a successful 2023 season. Built up by head coach Martu Loncarica and led by interim head coach Katie Bam, the Explorers are currently on a seven-game win streak and sit second in the A10. Last weekend, La Salle picked up a huge conference win against VCU – their first over the Rams since 2016. Freshman Clara Larripa tallied both goals in the 2-1 double overtime victory, earning her the honor of A10 Rookie of the Week.

The Hawks have won the past nine match-ups with the Explorers, including a 4-0 win last season.


Photo by: Demetrius Kazanas

Both 9-3 in conference play, Bentley and Pace will clash on Friday to see who will end the regular season with ten NE10 wins.

After two mid-season conference losses, Bentley picked it up with three straight NE10 shutout victories. Across a pair of wins over Southern Connecticut State and Adelphi last week, the Falcons defense only allowed just two shots on goal. NE10 Defensive Player of the Week Emily Crowell contributed both to the performance in the backfield as well as on the offensive – the junior defender tallied a goal off a penalty stroke in the 3-0 win over the Panthers.

Pace has been cruising through the NE10 with seven consecutive conference victories. Most recently, the Setters dominated Southern Connecticut State – a team Bentley had struggled against – 5-1. Junior Krista Dietz, who leads the Division in points per game (3.47), goals per game (1.35), and assists per game (0.76), tallied a pair of goals in the win, including the gamewinner in the second quarter. Dietz had scored two goals the game prior in Pace’s 6-0 shutout of American International, and registered an 11-point game that included five goals and one assist last Wednesday against New Haven. Dietz was named both the NE10 and Division II Offensive Player of the Week.

Last fall when the pair met, Bentley shutout Pace, 1-0. The Falcons are 5-2 in all time meetings.

DI: NO. 8 IOWA vs NO. 3 RUTGERS | 5 PM ET | B1G+ ($)

Photo by: Ben Solomon
Another high-profile Big Ten matchup closes out the regular-season slate in Iowa City, Iowa as No. 8 Iowa hosts third-ranked Rutgers.

After their strong start to the season, Iowa (12-4, 3-4 B1G) has found themselves down in conference play after this weekend. A 4-1 loss to No. 9 Maryland on Friday preceded a tough 2-1 loss to Penn State on Sunday. The Hawkeyes led 1-0 after the first quarter against the Nittany Lions courtesy of an Alex Wesneski goal, but conceded two after that.

Rutgers’ (15-1, 6-1 B1G) bid for a perfect regular season was ended by Northwestern last Sunday in a match that went to shootouts. Despite the loss, the team is by no means in a bad position – the Scarlet Knights are currently second in the B1G, and know they have what it takes to go toe-for-toe with the No. 1 team in the country. An impressive display of talent and persistence from both teams was highlighted by a goal from Paulina Niklaus – the first goal against Northwestern since September 22 – and a season-high nine saves from goalkeeper Sophia Howard.

In all time match-ups, Rutgers holds three wins to Iowa’s 10. Last season, the Hawkeyes defeated the Scarlet Knights, 1-0. 


No. 4 North Carolina will finish out their season at home hosting No. 2 Duke in a top-five rivalry contest.

Duke (14-2, 5-0 ACC) has achieved a feat of going 5-0 in the ACC, showing off their impressive offense – Alaina McVeigh leads the ACC in goals (16), while Hannah Miller leads in assists (9) –  and defense, with goaltender Piper Hampsch leading the conference in goals against average (.960) and save percentage (.778). Both the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels suffered a recent loss to Virginia, but for Duke the loss was inconsequential to their conference record, due to them having defeated the Cavaliers earlier this season in ACC play.  

North Carolina (11-3, 4-1 ACC) is still in good standing in the ACC despite a recent narrow loss to Virginia. Sophomore Ryleigh Heck, who leads the Tar Heels offensively, had helped her team to a 2-0 lead at half that the Cavaliers were able to overcome in the third quarter. Five days prior, UNC picked up a 4-3 win over UAlbany, displaying their deep bench with four different Tar Heels finding the back of the net.

The winner of this matchup will claim the top spot in the ACC heading into postseason play. North Carolina has won the past eight games, and has a commanding 83-13 lead in all time meetings. 


Photo by: Hannah Ally

Lehigh hosts Lafayette in Bethlehem, Pa. this Friday for this year’s Rivalry game.

After winning the Patriot League title in 2022, Lehigh (9-7, 2-3) is now fighting for a spot in postseason play. The Mountain Hawks started off conference play with an important 1-0 win over Boston University, and followed it up with a 3-1 victory over Colgate. Lehigh then ran into trouble with the next three on the schedule, including a tight 3-2 loss to American, who has since clinched the No. 1 seed.

Lafayette (10-5, 4-1) has been on an upward trajectory, having won their past seven games since their one conference loss to American. The Leopards are the only other team to have clinched their spot in the Patriot League postseason. This past weekend, Lafayette picked up a pair of non-conference wins against Towson and Quinnipiac. Freshman midfielder Stella Malinowski tallied a goal in each match off a penalty stroke, and was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the third time this season.

It’s a storied past for these two rivals, with Lafayette leading 16-6 in all time match-ups. After a long stretch of wins for the Pards that lasted from 2006 to 2016, the Mountain Hawks finally broke through, and have won the past three seasons. 



Photo by: Gil Talbot

The two top teams in the Ivy League, Cornell and Harvard, have already clinched their spots for the inaugural Ivy League tournament. This Saturday, they will battle it out for a potential No. 1 seed and home field advantage in the tournament, set to take place November 3 and 5.

Harvard (12-3, 6-0) has already secured at least a share of the regular season title with a 6-0 conference record that includes a dominant 4-0 win over Princeton and recent 2-0 victory over UPenn. With the win over the Quakers, the Crimson defense has now five straight shutouts that puts a punctuation mark on a seven-game winning streak. Freshman Sage Piekarski scored once in that match and also in Harvard’s 7-0 win over Boston University, earning her the title of Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week.

Very similar to the Crimson, Cornell (12-3, 5-1 Ivy) also holds a 12-3 record overall, and has four shutouts off their recent seven consecutive wins. The Big Red however has one Ivy League loss – a 3-2 shootout loss to Princeton. 


Photo by: Marty Corcoran
Centennial Conference play finishes out this Saturday, starting with a Top-25 contest between No. 3 Johns Hopkins and No. 23 Franklin & Marshall at noon. 

Looking to make another deep postseason run this year, Johns Hopkins (15-1, 9-0 CC) enters their final game of the regular season with a 15-1 record. This past week was successful for the Blue Jays, who picked up three more conference wins – including a 3-0 shutout against No. 24 Swarthmore. It was no surprise the Division III powerhouse swept the Centennial Conference awards, with Siena Urbanski picking up Offensive Player of the Week after tallying an eight-point week, and goalkeeper Alexis Loder earning Defensive Player of the Week. Loder anchored a backline that shutout the Swarthmore offense for the first time since September 1. 

Franklin & Marshall (10-6, 8-1) was on a hot streak until last Wednesday, when they were blanked, 4-0, by Swarthmore. The Diplomats have already picked up some big conference wins that include a 2-1 shootout victory over then-No. 18 Ursinus and a 1-0 win over then-No. 16 Bryn Mawr. Against top opponents early this season, Franklin & Marshall has been close – falling 2-1 to then-No. 15 Christopher Newport, 1-0 to then-No. 8 Messiah, and 2-1 in OT to then-No. 9 York. 

In their long history of match-ups, the Blue Jays have 28 wins to the Diplomats’ 16. Last season, Johns Hopkins claimed a 3-0 victory.


Photo by: Dave Janosz
It’s a showdown between the two undefeated MAC Freedom teams when DeSales hosts Stevens for their last game of the regular season on Saturday. 

Stevens (14-2, 6-0 MAC) is enjoying another successful season so far after a 2022 season that ended in the MAC semifinals when they lost to Arcadia. Last week, the Ducks previewed their strength with a 2-0 shutout over the Knights as graduate student Lynda Farinella tallied her tenth goal of the season. Stevens is now up to eight shutouts this season, with sophomore goalkeeper Lily Wierzbicki leading Division III in save percentage (0.941) and goals against average (0.24).

Despite posting a .533 record overall, DeSales (8-7, 6-0) is currently undefeated in conference play. The Bulldogs faced a few tough challenges early on in the season, including a narrow 2-1 loss to then-No. 11 TCNJ and a 3-2 double overtime loss to now-No. 24 Swarthmore. After picking up a 4-1 victory over FDU-Florham and a 7-1 win over Kings College this past week, DeSales swept the weekly MAC Freedom awards. Sophomore Jordyne Strong tallied four goals and one assist in the two wins, earning Offensive Player of the Week, while senior Catie Mcgrath’s tough defense earned her Defensive Player of the Week. The offensive leader for the Bulldogs is senior Maddie Trocki, who tallied an impressive four goals in the match against Kings, bringing her total on the season to 17.

The Ducks will be looking to avenge their 2-1 loss to the Bulldogs last season, and start to even out their all-time match-up record that currently stands at 2-6. 


Two teams unbeaten in MAC Commonwealth play meet on Saturday afternoon to decide the top seed. Both No. 5 Messiah (nine wins) and No. 9 York (six wins) enter on lengthy winning streaks and boast identical 6-0 conference records.

Messiah (14-1, 6-0 MAC) has been a force to be reckoned with this season, having lost only one match – a 2-1 overtime heartbreaker to No. 3 Johns Hopkins. Since then, the Hawks have rattled off nine straight wins — a run that includes all six of their conference matches. Messiah averages 4.2 goals per game while allowing less than one goal per game. As the dominant force in the MAC Commonwealth, the Hawks have their eye on a 16th straight conference championship title. 

It’s been a stellar season for York (14-2, 6-0 MAC) as well, posting a perfect conference record and only two losses overall. The Spartans fell to then-No. 25 Lynchburg and then-No. 6 Salisbury earlier this season, but had picked up a 3-1 victory over then-No. 2 Johns Hopkins in just their second match this fall. York showed off their stellar defense this past week with a pair of shutouts against Widener and Eastern – limiting both teams to zero shots on goal. A big piece of that defensive effort was Brooke Cordisco, a midfielder who also tallied two goals in the game against Eastern. 

In the seven total meetings between the two teams, York has not won yet. The Spartans had their closest match-up last season, when they lost 3-2 in overtime in the regular season. Messiah defeated York 2-0 in the MAC Commonwealth final to win the title of champion.


It’s a high-stakes match between Houghton and Saint John Fisher this weekend to determine who will be the top seed in the Empire 8 conference.

With a Houghton win over Saint John Fisher and a Hartwick win over Keuka, there would be a three-way tie (broken by goal differential) for the first place seed. 

Saint John Fisher (9-7, 6-0 Empire 8) is currently in the number one spot in conference with a perfect 6-0 record. It was a big win for the Cardinals last weekend when they defeated Hartwick 2-1, with an impressive seven saves from goalkeeper Sophia Trozzi and a defensive save from Rileigh Luste.

Houghton (11-4, 5-1 Empire 8) has had a successful season, recording 11 victories and just a single loss so far in conference play. The Highlanders’ lone defeat was 3-1 to Harwick in a rematch of last season’s conference championship. Houghton’s Bekah Davie leads the Empire 8 in goals at 17, while Jace Hunzinger leads in assists at 21.

Last season, the Cardinals took a 3-1 regular season victory to the Highlanders but fell 3-0 in the Empire 8 conference semifinal. In all time matchups, Houghton trails 3-10, winning last fall for the first time since 2012.  


NE10 rivals No. 8 Assumption and No. 6 Saint Anselm will meet for one final regular season contest on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Entering the national rankings this week, Assumption (13-4, 12-0 NE10) has been heating up at the end of the regular season with 12 consecutive wins – all in conference. After wins over Southern New Hampshire and St. Thomas Aquinas this past week, the Greyhounds picked up two NE10 weekly honors – Goalkeeper of the Week for Paige Gillette, and Rookie of the Week for May van Woudenberg. Van Woudenberg tallied both goals in the 2-0 win over STAC, while Gillette had a pair of saves in the shutout.

Despite having two conference losses, Saint Anselm (14-3, 10-2 NE10) has impressed this season by registering a few high-caliber wins. Early in the season, the Hawks had back-to-back wins over top-three PSAC teams West Chester and Shippensburg – both 2-1 OT wins. Now, they are on a six game win streak, also in conference play.

The two teams are perfectly even at 17 wins and 17 losses in all time meetings. Always a tight match-up, the Greyhounds ended the Hawks’ 2022 season with a 2-1 OT win in the NCAA Quarterfinals. This was after Saint Anselm had defeated Assumption in shootouts in the regular season.

Images courtesy of: Northwestern Athletics, Brieanna Andrews/Maryland Athletics, WNE Athletics, La Salle Athletics, Demetrius Kazanas/Pace Athletics, Ben Solomon/Rutgers Athletics, Duke Athletics, Hannah Ally/Lafayette Athletics, Gil Talbot/Harvard Athletics, Marty Corcoran/Hopkins Athletics, Dave Janosz/Stevens Athletics, Messiah Athletics, Houghton Athletics, Saint Anselm Athletics

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