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Gameday Central: Field Hockey Takes On King's College (Pa.) in NCAA Tournament

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - November 6, 2007 - On Wednesday November, 7, for the fourth-straight year, the Springfield College field hockey team will play a first round game in the NCAA Division III Championship. This year the opponent is against the visiting King's College (Pa.) Lady Monarchs. The game is scheduled for 5:00 pm on Stagg Field.

Admission will be charged to the contest and ticket prices are as follows:

General Admission- $5
Students with an ID and Senior Citizens- $3

Springfield earned the fourth seed in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament with a 6-2 mark and reached the NCAA tournament with a 3-0 victory over second-seeded Wellesley College in the finals. The Pride topped Mount Holyoke in the first round, 3-0, before upsetting top-seeded Babson, 3-1, and then knocking off the second-seeded Wellesley Blue in the finals. The Pride enters the NCAA Tournament with a 19-3 record and has won seven straight games, including 13 of its last 14 contests. Springfield is 1-1 against teams in the 2007 NCAA field, dropping a 4-1 decision to 9th-ranked Middlebury, and winning a 4-0 decision over Keene State. Springfield's other losses included a 2-1 decision in overtime to Babson and 2-1 decision against Wheaton.

Junior Jane Kelleher (Chatham, Mass.), a 2006 NCAA Division III Second Team All- American, leads the Pride at midfield as has scored a team-best 51 points on 21 goals and nine assists. Senior midfielder Brittany Veazie (Dexter, Maine), a 2006 NCAA Division III First Team All- American, follows with 49 points on 21 goals and seven assists. Sophomore midfielder Morgan Rein (Mystic, Conn.) has added nine points on two goals and five assists.

At forward, the Pride has been lead by the consistent play of senior Eileen Jenkins (Gorham, Maine). Jenkins has registered 28 points off 11 goals and six assist thus far this season.

Springfield's defense is anchored by 2006 NEWMAC Field Hockey First Team selection Jillian Urtz (Verona, N.Y.). Urtz heads up a defense that ranks 25th in Division III in goals against average with a 1.21.

Senior goalie Emma Kaplan (Ridgefield, Conn.), who was named NEWMAC Field Hockey Second Team in 2006, enters the NCAA playoffs with a 1.24 GAA and 98 saves. Kaplan has led the Pride defense to 10 shutouts, which is tied for the second most in the country.

Springfield's head coach Melissa Rogers is in her 4th year with the Pride, and owns a 76-15 record and an .835 winning percentage, while making the NCAA tournament all four years as SC's head coach. Since Rogers’ inception four seasons ago, Springfield has continued its winning ways on the field hockey turf, capturing four straight (2004 through 2007) NEWMAC championships and making four trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Prior to her tenure as a coach, Rogers enjoyed one of the most productive careers in Springfield College field hockey history. She remains Springfield's second all-time leading scorer with 128 points (59 goals, 10 assists). As a senior team captain in 2001, Rogers was an NFHCA/STX First-Team All-American after leading all of Division III in goals (28), and finishing second in points (62). She was also the NEWMAC Player of the Year and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Co-Player of the Year in 2001.

Rogers' playing career coincided with an incredibly successful era in the program's history. A four-year letter winner from 1998 to 2001, she sparked the Pride to an 80-22 record (an average of 20 wins per season), two trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament, and a pair of NEWMAC championships in 1999 and 2000. Rogers helped the Pride to the Division III national semifinals as a sophomore in 1999. In her junior season, she helped propel SC to the 2000 national championship match, where the Pride dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to William Smith. While she has been a part of the Springfield College Field Hockey family, whether as player, assistant coach, or head coach, the team has gone 180-59 with a .753 winning percentage.

About King's College (Pa.)

The King's College Lady Monarchs field hockey team is making its second straight appearance in the NCAA Division III National Tournament after qualifying for the event for the first time in school history in 2006. King's fell to Rowan in the first round of the 2006 event by a 2-0 count.

King's earned the top seed in the Freedom Conference Tournament with a 6-0 mark and reached the NCAA tournament with a 2-0 victory over second-seeded FDU-Florham in the finals. The Lady Monarchs enter the tournament with a 15-4 record, and have won three straight games, including 10 of their last 11 contests. King's is 0-2 against teams in the 2007 NCAA field, dropping a 4-0 decision to 10th-ranked Messiah and a 3-2 overtime verdict to Alvernia. King's other losses came 2-1 in overtime to Elizabethtown and 1-0 to Scranton.

Senior forward Megan Farrell (Clarks Summit, Pa.), a 2007 All-Freedom Conference selection, tops the squad with 31 points on 12 goals and seven assists. Senior forward Debbie Wychock Wilkes-Barre, PA/Coughlin), a two-time All-Freedom choice, follows with 29 points on 14 goals and one assist. Senior forward Sarah McGrady (Plymouth, Pa.) adds 20 points on nine goals and two assists.

In the midfield, junior Christina Glenn (Mountaintop, Pa.) is a two-time all-conference pick and chips in with nine points, including one goal and seven assists.

King's defense is anchored by three-time All-Freedom Conference selection Melissa Gates (Jenkintown, Pa.) and two-time All-Freedom choice Grace King (Bryn Athyn, Pa.).

Junior goalie Kari Leach (Milford, Pa.), who was named most valuable player of the Freedom Conference Tournament after making 17 saves with a .050 GAA in two tournament games, enters the NCAA playoffs with a 1.44 GAA and 160 saves, including five shutouts. She is a two-time First-Team All-Freedom Conference selection. Leach has not allowed more than one goal in a game since a 4-2 victory over Neumann on October 4.

King's head coach Cheryl Ish is in her 14th year with the Lady Monarchs, and owns a 149-118-2 record while winning at least 10 games every season since 1999. She was named the Freedom Conference "Coach of the Year" in 1996 and 2005. She took over the King's field hockey program in 1994 in just its third year of existence. In 2006 she led King's to its best season ever when the Lady Monarchs finished 19-3, won their first Freedom Conference title after two runner-up finishes, and advanced to the Division III National Tournament for the first time in program history.

Ish was a three-time NCAA Division III All-American during her playing career at Salisbury University, where she guided the team to four consecutive national tournament appearances. In 1988, she led Salisbury to a 16-3-3 record and a third-place in the national tournament, while advancing to the quarterfinal round in each of her final three seasons. In 1993, she was an assistant coach at Smith College and helped the team to a 15-3 record and a second-place finish in the Division III National Tournament.

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Head Coach Melissa Sharpe

Melissa Sharpe After nine years as head coach of the Pride, Melissa Sharpe has continued the tradition of winning on the field hockey turf, posting an impressive 130-68 record, good for a winning percentage of .656 at the helm of her alma mater. Read more.

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E-Mail | Phone: 413.748.3167

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