BIDDEFORD, Maine – Brooke Lemerise (Bartlett, N.H.) finished off a pair of penalty corner plays following halftime to lift top-seeded University of New England past No.2 Endicott College, 2-1, in the title match of the 2017 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Field Hockey Championship on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 4) at the Big Blue Turf.
The Nor’easters (17-4) secured their fourth consecutive league crown with the result, which puts them into the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship with the CCC’s automatic bid. The national tournament field will be announced late Sunday evening on NCAA.com, for play to begin on Wednesday.
The Gulls (17-4) will now have to wait to see if their season can continue with a possible at-large selection.
Between the two squads, seven of the last eight championship trophies have settled in either Biddeford or Beverly. Five of those have gone to UNE, in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016, and the latest one.
The Nor’easters entered the final 35 minutes trailing, but pulled even when Olivia Madore (Lyman, Maine) (CCC 1st Team) found Lemerise at the left post for a shot into the near side in the 42nd minute.
Then, with 6:19 remaining, Lemerise did it again from nearly the same spot on the field, off a feed from Kersey Boulay (Liberty, Maine) (CCC Defensive Player of the Year / 1st Team). This time, she slotted it towards the far post through a crowd in front, to register the first two-goal performance of her career.
Liz Sargent (South Burlington, Vt.) (CCC 2nd Team) did not have to make a save in the 2nd period, ending with five to earn the victory in goal for UNE. After an opening half that saw a combined 22 shot attempts and 17 corners, the teams amounted to just five total shots the rest of the way (UNE 4-1).
Taylor Farrin (Danvers, Mass.) (CCC 1st Team / Rookie of the Year) notched six saves for Endicott, which got on the board in the 32nd minute when Brittany Bushey (Pittsford, Vt.) poked in a rebound to give the visitors a 1-0 cushion.
The regulation-time outcome was a rarity for the Nor’easters and Gulls, who had played more than 177 minutes of live action during two meetings in the regular-season (splitting the series with wins on their respective home fields). Similarly, it was the first time in four finals duels that the result did not require bonus field hockey.
UNE is ahead 15-12 in all-time outings against Endicott, which includes the last 12 played in Maine.