November 13, 2009
Field Hockey Advances to NCAA National Championship Game
EASTON, MA-Maggey Bloskey (Danville/Danville) scored twice and had one assist to lead the Bloomsburg University field hockey to a 4-2 win over Shippensburg in the semi-final game of the NCAA Division II field hockey championships in Easton, MA on the campus of Stonehill College.
The Huskies, 21-1, will play for the 16th national championship in school history on Sunday at 1 p.m. against the winner of the other semi-final game between Stonehill and UMass-Lowell. Bloomsburg will be attempting to win its fourth straight NCAA title for the second time in school history and for the seventh time in the last eight years.
Bloskey has been a Shippensburg killer in the last several meetings between the teams. In last year's national semi-final game she scored three times in a 3-2, overtime win to send Bloomsburg to the national title game. Then two weeks ago she scored the game-winning goal against the Lady Raiders in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) title game.
Shippensburg took the early lead in the game on one of its eight penalty corners of the first half when Ashley Taylor scored on an assist by Laura Wydle just 7:36 into the game. The Lady Raiders kept the pressure on and had three shots on goal in a five minute stretch, but were denied each time by Huskies' goalie Caitlin Koczynski (Yardley/Neshaminy).
Bloomsburg tied the score on its only penalty corner of the first half. Erin Hench (Loysville/West Perry) redirected a shot from Aubrey Carman (Dallastown/Dallastown) to beat Shippensburg goalie Amanda Houser at the 10:23 mark of the first half. The Lady Raiders had a chance to tie the score late in the first half when Taylor got behind the Bloomsburg defense, but Carman came up with a big defensive save to keep the score 1-1 at the break.
"We started off the game strong but weren't able to get a score," said head coach Jan Hutchinson. "Going down 1-0 really got us on our heels, but the players responded very well and were able to get back in the game very quickly. Erin's goal was a great equalizer as it helped take away Shippensburg's momentum and gave us a huge lift emotionally."
In the second half the Huskies put pressure on Shippensburg right from the opening minutes. Amanda Riley (Tannersville/Pocono Mountain East) had two shots on an early penalty corner, but came up empty. Bloomsburg then took its first lead of the game in the 39th minute when Bloskey, who has played well against the Lady Raiders in her career, took a rebound of a shot and beat Houser for a 2-1 advantage.
The Huskies extended the lead to 3-1 when Riley scored her 25th goal of the season in the 46th minute. The sophomore took a pass from Bloskey, made a spin move on the defense and beat Houser for the third goal of the game. Bloskey tried to extend the lead to three on a shot in the 56th minute, but Houser was able to come up with the save keeping it a two-goal game.
Shippensburg did cut the deficit to 3-2 with less than nine minutes to play when Kristina Taylor brought the ball down the right side of the field and fed Katie Pufnock who shot one past Koczynski for a goal.
The Huskies added an insurance goal with just about four minutes to play when Bloskey scored on a nice backhanded shot making it 4-2.
"At the half we talked about making some adjustments to our fundamentals," said Hutchinson. "Offensively we were holding on to the ball for too long and we needed to improve our one-on-one defense. We were able to execute our game plan much better in the second half and that really helped us down the stretch."
From there the Huskies kept the pressure on with great play by the midfield and the backs. Play was concentrated in the Bloomsburg scoring end of the field for the final few minutes of play to send the Huskies to the finals.