October 31, 2011

Bloomsburg-Bound: #4 Field Hockey Receives First-Ever NCAA Tournament Berth, Earns Trip to Final Four

NCAA Tournament Bracket

NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The #4 Merrimack field hockey team has been selected to participate in its first-ever NCAA Tournament, in an announcement made by the NCAA Monday night. The Warriors received the top-seed in the North Region and will take on the winner of the quarterfinal matchup of UMass Lowell and American International in the semifinals hosted by Bloomsburg University November 11.

The Warriors own a 17-2 overall record this fall. Merrimack strung together 17-consecutive victories from September 4 to October 28.

Merrimack fell 3-2 to #5 UMass Lowell in the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament championship Monday evening at Martone-Mejail Field. The Warriors claimed their first-ever Northeast-10 Conference regular season crown with a perfect 10-0 record in league play.

April Daugherty (Wakefield, RI) leads the team with 50 points on 22 goals and six assists. Her six game-winning tallies this season are tops in program history. Daugherty was tabbed the 2011 Northeast-10 Player of the Year and was an All-Conference first team selection.

Jen Otis (Penacook, NH) joined Daugherty on the Northeast-10 All-Conference first team and ranks second on the squad with 13 goals and five assists, good for 31 points.

Kerri Bergquist (Mashpee, MA) has started all 19 contests this year for Merrimack in goal. She sports a 0.90 goals-against average and nine shutouts. Bergquist was named the 2011 Northeast-10 Conference Goalie of the Year and was an All-Conference pick.

Stephanie Heasman (Flanders,NJ), Jessica Otis (Pittsford, NY) and Katie Zubkus (Dover, NH) all earned Northeast-10 All-Conference second team honors. Abbey Stacey (Messalonskee, ME) and Kristen Connolly (Westminster, MA) were both selected to the Northeast-10 All-Rookie team.

"This is a great accomplishment for this program and we are thrilled," said head coach Anne Rounce, the 2011 Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year. "We will certainly work hard in practice to prepare ourselves. Reaching the NCAA Tournament was a goal set by the team early in the season."

A win in the national semifinals would send Merrimack to its first-ever NCAA Tournament title game November 13.

Only two programs in school history have ever been crowned national champions. The 1978 hockey team brought home the school's first-ever national crown. The softball team won the national title in 1994, the last national championship at Merrimack College.