Anna Maria Captures NECC Field Hockey Title with 4 – 2 Win Over Elms
Paxton, MA – Senior Marybeth McClune (Worcester, MA) scored her 18th and 19th goals of the season to lead the Anna Maria field hockey team to a 4 – 2 New England Collegiate Conference Championship victory over Elms College. With the win, the AMCATS finish the season at 14-7, remaining unbeaten in conference play. The Elms College Blazers complete their season with an overall record of 8-12.
The Blazers offense started strong, putting an immense amount of pressure on the AMCATS defense in the first few minutes of the contest. Freshman forward Kristina Kopyscinski (Agawam, MA) scored the first goal of the game at the two minute mark, giving Elms an early 1-0 lead.
Anna Maria's offense battled back, as senior Brooke Denver (New Britian, CT) laced two straight shots on the Blazers goal at the five minute mark. Elms senior goaltender Alexandra Bonavita (Agawam, MA) made a diving stop on the first attempt, and sophomore defender Allie LaMonica (Salem, MA) came up with a big defensive save on the second attempt.
The AMCATS were able to break through a tough Blazers defense at the 18 minute mark. Sophomore Nichole Lowe (Saugus, MA) put home a loose ball rebound to tie the score at 1-1. Two minutes later, McClune received a pass across the Blazers' goalmouth from freshman Kayla Lapierre (Worcester, MA), and scored her first goal of the game. The AMCATS had a 2-1 advantage at the half.
The AMCATS offense posted two more goals early in the second half. Freshman Kylie Dalbec (Portland, ME) netted her 12th goal of the season at the 41 minute mark, and McClune scored her second goal of the contest at the 47th minute mark, with Lapierre picking up her second assist on the day.
The Blazers tried to amount a comeback, and were able to pressure the AMCATS defense. Kristina Kopyscinski scored her second goal of the game at the 68 minute mark to cut the AMCAT lead in half, but time ran out for Elms, and the AMCATS held on for a 4-2 victory.
Freshman goaltender Mary Kate Breen (Londonderry, NH) recorded her 14th win of the season for the AMCATS while making two saves in net. With her two goals on the day, Marybeth McClune has set an AMCAT record with 37 career goals. McClune has also set the record for goals scored (19) and points recorded in a single season (40). Keri Hoenig ('92) had the previous record for goals in a season (18), and points in a season (36). Pam Pelletier held the record for career goals (36).
McClune was named as the NECC tournament MVP while teammates Brooke Denver, Kylie Dalbec, and junior Shannon Looney (Leicester, MA) were named to the NECC Championship All-Tournament Team. Also garnishing post-tournament accolades for the Elms College Blazers were Allie LaMonica, Kristina Kopyscinski, Alexandra Bonavita and sophomore Ashley Reid (Enfield, CT).
Marybeth McClune, Anna Maria - MVP
Brooke Denver, Anna Maria
Kylie Dalbec, Anna Maria
Shannon Looney, Anna Maria
Allie La Monica, Elms
Kristina Kopyscinski, Elms
Alexandra Bonavita, Elms
Ashley Reid, Elms
Michelle Griczika, Becker
Brooke Cote, Becker
CHelsey Ballard, Wheelock
Despina Savvoulides, Wheelock