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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?

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