Gettysburg Blasts Bowdoin to Claim Div. III Title

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Gettysburg captured its first NCAA Division III championship of any kind in dominating fashion with a 16-5 victory over Bowdoin in the finals held at Motamed Field on the campus of Adelphi on Sunday.

Appearing in its second national final ever, Gettysburg (19-4) handily won its first national title in program history, and just the second national championship ever attained in school history. The 1980 field hockey team won the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Division III title, a squad on which current women's lacrosse coach Carol Cantele was a member.

“As intimate and exciting as it was for our own team (1980 field hockey), not many people knew we were doing it,” added Cantele. “We've had the college completely behind us, and the interest in the media, and that's just so great for the sport and for women's athletics, and great for, in particular, the girls here. They showcased themselves and the institution in the upmost fashion. It's a whole different feeling and truthfully it's so much fun to be an observer of it. It will really be a lasting memory.”

Most Outstanding Performer Hannah Church (Ellicott City, Md./Mount de Sales) finished with a Gettysburg postseason record-tying eight points on five goals and three assists. Freshman Kelsey Markiewicz (Salisbury, Md./Berkshire School (Mass.)) pumped in four goals for the second-straight day and added two assists and was also named All-Tournament, while junior goalie Maddie Coleman (Lexington, Va./Rockbridge County) garnered All-Tournament accolades after posting nine saves in the final.

Joining the aforementioned trio on the NCAA All-Tournament team were sophomore Lindsey Robinson (Potomac, Md./Holton-Arms), who finished with one goal and three assists, and sophomore Mairead McGuirk (Bel Air, Md./John Carroll), who led Gettysburg to a 13-10 advantage in draw controls.

Sunday's finale was never in doubt as Gettysburg jumped out to 5-0 lead as four different players tickled the twine. Robinson started the run with a free-position shot for the game's first goal at 25:09 and Church ended it with a move down the left side at 21:47.

“I kind of had the idea that we could do that because we practiced against the backer defense at practice every day,” noted Church. “We knew what we were doing and that we could get ahead of that defense.”

“This whole tournament all we've been saying before every game and every huddle is 'We're going to win this,' said Church. “We've just been so confident and that's really what's gotten us here.”

After Bowdoin (18-4) put in its first goal, the Bullets went on another streak with six more shots finding pay-dirt. Pruitt benefitted from a pair of passes from Church and Robinson for two goals, while Markiewicz closed the run with back-to-back tallies from Robinson. Coleman was up to task in goal, stopping a pair of free-position shots at point-blank range at Gettysburg went up 11-1 with just over four minutes left in the first half.

The Polar Bears seemed to finally put some pieces together with the final goal of the first half and three of the first four goals of the second half, but the Bullets put the game to bed with each of the final four tallies. A quick shot in front of the net by freshman Katie Blumenthal (Malvern, Pa./Academy of Notre Dame) off a feed from Pruitt at 6:22 sealed the game's outcome.

Church's eight points gave her 29 for the tournament, shattering the previous record of 25 set by The College of New Jersey's Lauren Dougher in 2005. Church also set the tournament record for total goals with 26 and her 99 points this season is the fifth-highest in school history.

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