College Games: NCAA Division III Semifinals & Final
by Paige Powell, USA Field Hockey’s College Content Intern
Despite a turbulent and exciting first few rounds, the 2022 Division III Field Hockey Semifinals will be a nearly identical copy of last season. Rowan has a rematch with Middlebury, while Johns Hopkins will clash with Williams. Williams – making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006 – replaces Trinity, who appeared in the 2021 semifinal but fell in quarterfinals.
Much like the 2021 semifinals, there will be two teams representing from the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), one from the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and one from the Centennial Conference.
It’s no surprise that Middlebury made it this far – the Panthers are 19-1 this season and going for their fifth consecutive NCAA title. It was a surprise to see previously undefeated Salisbury, who held the No. 1 spot in the national rankings for the past three weeks, upset by Williams in the quarterfinal. Rowan, who will have home field advantage, held the top spot for one week this season and looks to extend an impressive 21-1 record. Middlebury sat comfortably in the No. 1 spot for the first six weeks of the season, which makes Williams a sort of underdog in this fight – the Ephs hovered around the No. 8 spot and enter semifinals with a 15-5 record.
Semifinal action gets going on Friday, November 18 at 12 p.m. ET at Coach Richard Wackar Stadium in Glassboro, NJ. Johns Hopkins and Williams will square up for the very first time. At 3 p.m. ET, host Rowan will take on Middlebury. The two contests will be streamed live on the NCAA website.
Friday, November 18, 2022
Williams 0 - 1 Johns Hopkins | 12:00 p.m. ET | NCAA.com
Williams and Johns Hopkins, both fighting for their first-ever NCAA Title, will meet each other for the first time – and in the NCAA Semifinal round no less.
The Blue Jays have been slowly inching their way to a championship – falling in the semifinal match in 2018 and 2019, then in the final in 2021. After going a perfect 10-0 in Centennial Conference play this season and winning the tournament, Hopkins defeated William Smith with a single goal from Gen Mehra. Next, it was on to Babson in the second round where the Blue Jays finished with another 1-0 shutout. This time, it was senior Anna Scott who converted a pass from Olivia Fox into the game-winning goal.
After falling to Middlebury in the NESCAC Semifinal, the Ephs were granted an at-large bid to the tournament. Unlike the other three teams who all received a bye, Williams had to play a first round match. They handily defeated Johnson and Wales 8-0, then followed it up with a 3-0 victory over Washington and Lee. NESCAC Player of the Year Emily Batchelor scored what ended up being the game-winner in just under two minutes of play. With that goal, the senior brought her season total to 20 – breaking the Williams record for most goals scored in one season.
Matched up with No. 1 Salisbury in the quarterfinal, Williams once again put on an exceptional performance to upset the Gulls, 2-0. Junior Molly Hellman netted the first goal of the game in the third quarter, while freshman Kiki Higgins added an insurance goal in the final minute of play.
The Eph defense held Salisbury’s previously dominant offense to just a single shot on goal.
Comparing outcomes against mutual opponents, Hopkins defeated Washington and Lee 5-2 in the regular season while Williams won 3-0 in the postseason. Against Salisbury, the Blue Jays fell 2-1 in overtime while the Ephs won 2-0.
Middlebury 4 - 0 Rowan | 3:00 p.m. ET | NCAA.com
Rowan looks to avenge their 2021 semifinal loss and topple a powerhouse as they take on Middlebury in the 2022 NCAA Semifinals.
Any team taking on Middlebury has a monumental task ahead of them. The 19-1 Panthers feature talent such as Katie George, Amy Griffin and Charlotte Marks. With a clinical offensive line, they have outscored opponents, 102-12.
With a 2-0 victory over Tufts, Middlebury became the first program to win five consecutive NESCAC Titles. After receiving a bye in the first round of NCAA play, the Panthers took on MIT in the second and handed them a hefty 8-0 defeat. Next, they avenged their lone loss of the season against conference foe Trinity. This time around, Middlebury showed up with a purpose – outshooting the Bantams 24-3 and winning 3-0. Goals from Griffin, George and Sadie LeStage sealed the deal for the Panthers.
Rowan has one NCAA Title in their repertoire, back in 2002. However, the Profs did not appear in the semifinals after that until 2018 and 2021. Rowan is hungry as ever to make it to the championship match and to bring home the NCAA Trophy – as demonstrated by their 21-1 record this season.
After starting off the NCAA postseason with a bye, the Profs defeated Christopher Newport, 4-0, in the second round. Goals came from Kristiina Castagnola, Vanessa DiDonato and Bridget Guinan – all players who have been having very strong seasons. In the quarterfinals, it was Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Commonwealth champion Messiah who fell 3-1 to Rowan. After goals from Castagnola and Guinan in the first half, Julie Cavicchio tallied the third off a penalty corner. The assist came from Julia Patrone, who leads the Profs in goals (24) and assists (11).
This year, the Profs won the bid to host the final three matches of the postseason at their home turf in Glassboro, N.J. In addition to the normal advantages that come with playing at home, Rowan plays on a field turf as opposed to Middlebury’s water-based surface.
Rowan and Middlebury have only met three times - all in the NCAA postseason tournament - and all ended in victory for Middlebury. In last season’s semifinal, the Panthers secured a 4-1 victory over the Profs. The previous time Rowan made it to the semifinal round was 2018, when Middlebury won 4-2. Even as far back as the 2003 quarterfinal, Rowan had to face Middlebury and experienced a 5-1 defeat.
Sunday, November 20, 2022
Johns Hopkins vs. Middlebury | 1:00 p.m. ET | NCAA.com
Johns Hopkins rematches Middlebury in the NCAA Championship match on Sunday in Glassboro, N.J.
Middlebury looked sharp as ever in their match against Rowan in the semifinals. The Panthers (21-1) blanked the Profs, 4-0, to secure their spot in the championship and once again look to protect their title. It was junior Audrey Lazar who went out and had herself a day – scoring two goals in the first quarter and another in the third to cap off her hat trick. Junior Caroline Segal took a pass from Georgianne Defo to net the fourth and final goal in the last few minutes of play. Lazar and Segal led their team to a new program record for the most goals scored during a season at 105. Expect to see offensive prowess from the likes of Katie George and Amy Griffin.
The Panthers are chasing their fifth consecutive and seventh overall title. Head coach Katharine DeLorenzo is looking for her 351st victory at Middlebury.
Johns Hopkins played a close match against Williams – the Blue Jays looked strong but both teams were getting even opportunities for shots and penalty corners. It was Siena Urbanski who tallied what would be the game-winner in the second quarter. Urbanski deftly guided in a high ball of the goalkeeper's pads from the initial penalty corner shot from Gen Mehra. In dramatic fashion - only heightened by the stakes - the original call on the field of no goal was overturned after video review.
Alexis Loder made three saves on the day, including stepping out of the cage to shut down an Ephs breakaway. The play by the sophomore goalkeeper proved crucial to the Blue Jays victory. Hopkins has now posted a shutout in all three of their NCAA postseason games, totaling 16 on the season.
Johns Hopkins is currently on a 16 game win-streak as they look to pick up their first NCAA Title. Theywere in the final last season for the first time, after falling in the semifinals in both 2019 and 2018.
In the 2021 NCAA Championship, Middlebury dominated to claim a 4-1 victory over Johns Hopkins. The Panthers outshot the Blue Jays 24-7 to finish off their perfect season. There will be a lot of familiar faces at this matchup - such as Middlebury’s Katie George who had two goals against the Blue Jay’s Alexis Loder. Last year’s contest was the first time the two teams played each other, and the first time Hopkins played in the NCAA Championship.