Updated BIG EAST Field Hockey Notes and Statistics
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The 2012 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship will kick off on Friday, Nov. 2 at Trager Stadium in Louisville, Ky. The semifinals begin at 5:00 p.m., with a matchup of the No. 4 seed Providence and No. 1 seed Syracuse. The second semifinal between No. 3 Louisville and No. 2 Connecticut will begin at 7:30 p.m. The winners will face off in the final at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4 with the winner receiving the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Field Hockey tournament.
Syracuse (16-1, 6-0 BIG EAST) claimed the No. 1 seed in the 2012 BIG EAST Championship after a 3-2 win over Connecticut on Oct. 27. The Orange also notched their fourth BIG EAST regular season title in the last five years. Syracuse earned a No. 1 ranking in the NFHCA Coaches' Poll for two consecutive weeks (Sept. 25, Oct. 2), beginning the season 12-0. The Orange are led by senior Kelsey Millman on offense. The senior forward ranks third in the league in points with 28 overall, and leads Syracuse, ranked No. 3 nationally, with 11 goals this season. On the defensive end, Syracuse leads the nation in goals against average (0.81) and shutouts per game (0.50) with senior Leann Stiver in net.
As the No. 2 seed Connecticut (16-2, 5-1 BIG EAST) looks to win the BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship for the first time since 2009. The Huskies had the longest undefeated streak in Division I field hockey at 16-0 before falling to No. 2 Princeton on Oct. 21. The 2011 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year Chloe Hunnable and graduate student Louisa Boddy lead the league in points overall with 34 each. Marie Elena Bolles, the 2012 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, ranks third in the league in points with 28 overall. The junior has scored five game-winning goals this season and three against ranked opponents. No. 5 Connecticut boasts three of the league's top five goal scorers.
Louisville (12-7, 3-3 BIG EAST) locked down the No. 3 seed with a 2-1 victory over Providence on Oct. 27. Ranked No. 25 nationally, Louisville aims for its first BIG EAST Championship in eight appearances. Six players have tallied 10 points or more for the Cardinals this season, including sophomore Becca Maddock (20), senior Amber Thomas (19), sophomore Alyssa Voelmle (19), junior Erin Schneidtmiller (18) and freshman Elisia Garcia (10). Senior Erin Conrad has recorded one shutout and a goals against average of 2.32 in 19 appearances. Amber Thomas has scored five game-winners this season, including the overtime winner against No. 21 Ohio State on Oct. 22.
Providence (9-8, 3-3 BIG EAST) earned its first BIG EAST championship bid since 2009. The No. 4 seed Friars bettered their record from 4-14 overall in 2011 to 9-8 in 2012. Providence is led by junior Caitlin Malone on offense. Four Friars have recorded 15 points or more, including Caitlin Malone (26), sophomore Henni Tietze (24), sophomore Steph Guglielmo (18), and sophomore Kaleigh Fitzpatrick (16). Fitzpatrick also ranks second in the league in assists with 10. Malone, Tietze, Guglielmo and Fitzpatrick combine as the four youngest top-scorers for any team in the conference.
For ticket information and the BIGEAST.tv broadcasts of all the 2012 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship, visit Championship Central.