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Archive for May 26, 2016

May 26, 2016 — Inside the Division III Final Four: Trinity vs. Franklin & Marshall

TRINITY
Record: 18-3
Against the Final Four (1-1): Beat Middlebury 13-9, lost to Middlebury 10-7.
Key players: Martha Griffin (sr., A), Clare Lyne (jr., A), Ashley Stewart (sr., D), Zoe Ferguson (so., G), Emily Mooney (sr., G)
Intangibles: Trinity’s schedule is such that they met a national Top 20 team in seven out of its last nine matches. The Bantams are undefeated under the new sudden-death overtime rules. Trinity uses a platoon system for goalies; Ferguson in the first half, Mooney in the second.
The skinny: This is the second year in a row that Trinity has met Franklin & Marshall in the national semifinals, with the Bantams winning 11-6 a year ago. But they also have likely looked at F&M’s box score from the quarterfinal round and will likely wonder if they’re in for a defensive struggle on Saturday.

FRANKLIN & MARSHALL
Record: 21-2
Against the Final Four (0-0): Did not play.
Key players: Paige Moriarty (so., A), Grace Saliba (sr., A), Anastatia Mergner (sr., M), Samantha Blicht (sr., D), Vanessa Budd (jr., D)
Intangibles: Head coach Mike Faith has a second bite of the apple after the Diplomats made a return to the national semifinals after the hazing scandal that cost the team its 2012 season. Only team in the Final Four to shut out an opponent this season.
The skinny: F&M’s defense has held 15 of its opponents to six goals or fewer. The Diplomats locked down Salisbury in winning their quarterfinal matchup 6-5, and this is the team that could alter the pace and rhythm of a potential final with Cortland. But Franklin & Marshall cannot look past Trinity.

May 26, 2016 — Inside the Division III Final Four: SUNY-Cortland vs. Middlebury

SUNY-CORTLAND
Record: 21-0
Against the Final Four (0-0): Did not play.
Key players: Tara Monghan (sr., M), Hannah Elmer (s0., A), Kristen Ohberg (jr., A), Ashley Gentile (sr., M), Jaclyn Beshlian (jr., G)
Intangibles: Cortland has had an impressive season, but built on a schedule with only four ranked teams. That being said, the Red Dragons have hit double-digits every game, and held 13 opponents to seven goals or fewer.
The skinny: Cortland’s attacking prowess has masked the fact that only one of the team’s close defenders has caused more than 10 turnovers for the season. Beshlian committed 1urnovers this season, which could be a concern against an opposing ride. Beshlian and the defense had a good game against The College of New Jersey in their cross-border showdown, but it is going to be interesting to see how the Dragons respond to a team able to change and control the rhythm and tempo of the game.

MIDDLEBURY
Record: 20-1
Against the Final Four (1-0): Lost to Trinity 13-9, beat Trinity 10-7.
Key players: Bridget Instrum (sr., A), Mary O’Connell (jr., A), Laurel Pascal (sr., M), Evie Keating (so., D), Katie Mandigo (jr., G)
Intangibles: This is a rematch from last year’s national semifinal, one won by Cortland 19-12. What can the Panthers learn from last year’s defeat?
The skinny: Middlebury did not have Mandigo for the first month of the season because she is a forward on the school’s women’s ice hockey team. Since jumping in, she has done splendidly. Can she be the difference against the Cortland firepower?