The Husson University field hockey team will have its hands full tonight at 6 when it travels to play nationally ranked Amherst (Mass.) College in its first-ever NCAA Division III playoff game.
Husson, 9-7, enters the game with a seven-game winning streak, while the 11-4 Lord Jeffs had a six-game winning streak snapped by Bowdoin College 3-0 in their NESCAC quarterfinal on Nov. 1.
Husson freshman goalkeeper Kristen Capen from Leeds will be tested as the Lord Jeffs have averaged exactly three goals per game and have seven players with at least 10 points.
Capen has been outstanding of late, allowing just three goals and making 28 saves over her last four games.
Like Amherst, which was ranked 15th in last week’s national poll, first-year coach Katie Flaherty’s Eagles also feature a balanced attack.
Manchester’s Jillian Morin and Gardiner’s Courtney Allen each have six goals and four assists to share Husson’s scoring lead. Burnham’s Emily Woodbury has six goals, Norridgewock’s Lorri Hiltz and Belfast’s Helen Berry each have four goals and an assist, Vermont’s Kajsa Blindow has 3 & 2 and Belfast’s Skye Ellis has three goals, including two in her last two games. Livermore Falls’ Jenika Kelley, Husson’s only senior, has 2 & 2. Capen has a 2.39 goals-against average and a .757 save percentage.
Amherst, coached by Carol Knerr, has been led by Haley Douds (10 & 1), Katie McMahon (7 & 5), Molly Malloy (7 & 4) and Carly Dudzik (5 & 3) along with goalkeeper Emily Vitale (1.36 GAA, .800 save percentage).