North Coast Athletic Conference field hockey tournament champion DePauw (17-4) has earned its second-straight berth into the 24-team NCAA Division III Field Hockey Tournament by earning the league’s automatic bid. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA semifinals last year and are making their fourth overall appearance in the national tournament.
DePauw claimed its second-straight North Coast Athletic Conference tournament title on Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 triumph over Kenyon (13-7) in Greencastle, Indiana. The Tigers got off to a quick start when Grace Goodbarn (Highlands Ranch, CO/Mountain Vista) scored an unassisted goal in the second minute of the contest. Micheline Figel (Oak Park, IL/Oak Park River Forest) would increase the DePauw lead when she added a goal on an assist from Maggie Campbell (Winnetka, IL/New Trier) in the 28th minute. DePauw outshot Kenyon, 5-2, in the first half and took a 2-0 lead to halftime. Kenyon cut the lead to one, 2-1, in the second half after Rachel Hall (Los Angeles, CA/Harvard-Westlake) deflected in a shot from Maddie Breschi (Carlisle, PA/Carlisle) in the 39th minute. Breschi was credited with the assist. DePauw outshot Kenyon, 10-8, in the contest and held an 8-5 edge on penalty corners. In addition, DePauw senior Chelsea Cutler (Victoria, B.C./Mt. Douglas Secondary) earned the tournament's most valuable player award.
DePauw will travel to Newport News, Virginia, for a second round contest against the winner of Catholic (13-5)/Messiah (15-5) on Saturday, Nov. 16th at Christopher Newport University. In the other second round matchup at the site, Christopher Newport (19-1) will square off against the winner of Lynchburg (16-4)/Centre (15-4). The second-round winners will meet on Sunday, Nov. 17, in a quarterfinal matchup at the same site.
Sunday’s winner will advance to the national semifinals & finals on Nov. 22 and Nov. 24, respectively. The semifinals will be played at the USA Field Hockey Training Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia and the finals to be contested on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Semifinals will be played at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Friday, with the national championship game set for Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
The Tigers, led by seventh-year head coach Gina Wills, got strong performances this season from junior Paige Henry (Louisville, KY/Kentucky Country Day), senior Chelsea Cutler and junior Maggie Campbell as the trio combined for 44 of DPU’s 76 goals and dished out 19 total assists for 107 total points. On the defensive side of the ball, junior goalie Maggie Steele (Loveland, OH/Mt. Notre Dame) corralled 44 saves and allowed just 19 goals in 1482:23 minutes of action with a 1.15 goals against average.
Complete NCAA Tournament information can be found online at: www.ncaa.com