BOSTON, Mass. - Elms College defeated Wheelock 3-0 in the New England Collegiate Conference Championship (NECC) game. Elms claimed their first NECC field hockey championship.
The scoring started early for the Blazers off a corner from Olivia Keane (Enfield, Conn.) that sent the ball into the goal area. Madison Gabel (Agawam, Mass.) sent the ball from the right side of the arc into the scoring area, where Jeszenia McGuire (Brimfield, Mass.) put the ball in the back of the net.
The Wildcats would have an outstanding offensive opportunity at the end of the half when Mary-Kate Pereira (Shrewsbury, Mass.) had a corner that saw the Wheelock have three shots on goal, all saved by Jillian Lapponese (Enfield, Conn.). The game would remain 1-0 for the remainder of the half with Wheelock out shooting Elms 6-5 and each team taking five penalty corners.
The second half would start as a defensive battle for the first 20 minutes. In the 58th minute of play, Elms scored their second goal following a Blazers' timeout. Elms moved quickly down the field and Keane found Gabel to give the Blazers a 2-0 lead.
The final goal came off a corner when Keane sent the ball out to Madison Messier (Warren, Mass.) who ripped a shot that was deflected into the goal by Keane. That goal gave the Blazers a 3-0 lead and an NECC Championship.
Wheelock College led in shots 11-9. The Elms goaltender Lapponese had five saves, while the Wheelock goalkeeper Cassidy Smith (South Berwick, Maine) had three saves.
The NECC recognized from Wheelock College, Katie Frade (Dartmouth, Mass.), Genny Dyer (Chebeague Island, Maine), Alex LeBlanc (Atkinson, N.H.) and Kat Bettencourt (Peabody, Mass.) on the All-Tournament Team, and from Elms College, Marissa Mizzone (Orange, Conn.), Madison Messier, Alyssa Falvo (Wilbraham, Mass.) and Carissa Ramirez (San Diego, Calif.) as the MVP.