No. 3 Trinity Stops Bullets to Advance to Semifinal Round

GETTYSBURG, Pa. One day after erasing a deficit for a win, Gettysburg was unable to duplicate the feat as No. 3 Trinity dashed past the sixth-ranked Bullets 16-8 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Championship Sunday at Clark Field.

Gettysburg (18-3) erased a four-goal deficit to defeat Middlebury College 9-7 on Saturday, but Trinity (18-2) made sure no come back was in store on Sunday. The Bantams controlled possession of the ball throughout the game, particularly thanks to a 17-9 advantage off the draw.

"You can't do much if you don't have the ball," said Gettysburg head coach Carol Cantele '83. "That team knows how to move the ball. We had a decent little run a couple of times after winning it back, but we knew it would be a pretty big hill to climb."

Trinity was the first to get on the board with goals by Renee Olsen and Martha Griffin just over a minute apart. Junior Mandy Buell (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) tallied Gettysburg's first goal on a free-position shot at 23:17.

Shea Kusiak tallied the first of her three goals to push the Bantams back ahead by two. Senior Kelsey Markiewicz (Taconic, Conn./Berkshire School (Mass.)) converted a free-position attempt just 27 seconds later to pull the score to 3-2.

Gettysburg won the ensuing draw control, but that would be the last time possession favored the hosts out of the circle for over 22 minutes. During that time, Trinity won 10 consecutive draw controls and out-scored the Bullets 8-2.

The Bantams held the hosts to just two shots in the first 13 minutes of the final period, while building the lead to 15-4 following a trio of goals by Molly Cox. Buell ended the Trinity scoring streak with a goal off a feed from senior Katie Blumenthal (Malvern, Pa./Academy of Notre Dame) at 16:09.

The Bantams tacked on another goal as Kusiak picked up her fifth assist of the game on a feed to Griffin at 13:56. Gettysburg dialed up the defensive pressure in the remaining time, but Trinity managed to maintain possession for long periods despite the constant press. The Bullets never gave up the chase, causing several turnovers and converting the game's final three goals.

Tears flowed freely from the Gettysburg players following the game, but Cantele was quick to remind her team about the successful journey that brought them this far.

"You just have to remember all of the events and the practices, all the heart and hustle, and all the games that led up to this," said Cantele. "The hard work, the love, and the unity are what we're going to remember when the hurt of the game ends."

Kusiak finished the day with three goals and five assists, while Cox turned in four goals for Trinity. Griffin added three goals, one assist, and eight draw controls, while Hayes scored twice and posted four draw controls.

Buell led the Bullets with three goals and Markiewicz posted two goals and one assist. Sophomore Maggie Connolly (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) tallied a pair of goals. Junior Gretchen Boehmcke (Mountain Lakes, N.J./Mountain Lakes) paced the defense with three caused turnovers and two ground balls.

Gettysburg's six seniors Markiewicz, Blumenthal, Loren Pruitt (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown), Bailey Beardsley (Blue Ridge Summit, Pa./Francis Scott Key), Paige McKenna (Chatham, N.J./Chatham), and Kelly Spieker (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) leave an enduring legacy. They played key roles in the run to the school's first-ever NCAA championship in 2011 and they tied last year's senior class for the most wins over a four-year period (75). Markiewicz moved into ninth in program history with 224 career points, while Pruitt finished her career 11th with 202.

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