LEICESTER, Mass. – Becker College defeated Wheelock College 5-3 to capture the 2015 New England Collegiate Conference Field Hockey Championship. The win gives the Becker College field hockey team their first NCAA Tournament berth in program history.
Wheelock (10-9) got on the board just 2:33 into the game when Jen Ryan (Bellingham, Mass.) fed Katie Frade (Dartmouth, Mass.) on a penalty corner for the early goal. The Wildcats added to their lead 4:48 later when Rachel Danis (Underhill, Vt.) ripped a shot for the top of the circle, Katie Frade redirected the shot past the right leg pad of Becker goalie Gabrielle Gallo (Northport, N.Y.).
After Becker (11-11) called a timeout, the Hawks cut the Wildcats lead in half when Amy Grenier (Westminser, Mass.) hit the boards on a pass from Katherine Landanno (Winchendon, Mass.). Becker tied the game with 24:45 remaining in the first half when Marissa Domenech (Nashua, N.H.) put back a rebound. Brittney Bebeau (Harrisville, R.I.) gave Becker a 3-2 lead when she broke past the Wildcat defense for her 14th goal of the season.
Becker increased their lead to 4-2 with 12:11 remaining in the first Stanza when Niikolle Storey (Cumberland, Maine) scored on a penalty corner with a centering pass from Amy Grenier.
Katherine DiMascio (Braintree, Mass.) opened the second half with her seventh goal of the season when she blasted a shot into the top left corner of the Wildcats net to give Becker a 5-2 advantage.
Wheelock received a goal from Elizabeth Cooper (Mansfield, Mass.) with 3:01 remaining, but the Hawks held on for their third NECC Championship.
Gabrielle Gallo settled down to make five saves for the Hawks while Cassidy Smith (South Berwick, Maine) turned away six shots in the loss.
Following the game, the following players were named to the NECC All-Tournament Team.
NECC All-Tournament Team
Abby McNulty (Bedford, Mass.) – Elms College
Stephanie Esposito (Oraange, Conn.) – Elms College
Aineen Callahan (Diamond Point, N.Y.) – Regis College
Yvonne Abate (Easton, Mass.) – Regis College
Katie Frade (Dartmouth, Mass.) – Wheelock College
Jen Ryan (Bellingham, Mass.) – Wheelock College
Emma Panto (Somers, Conn.) – Wheelock College
Alex LeBlanc (Atkinson, N.H.) – Wheelock College
Gabrielle Gallo (Northport, N.Y.) – Becker College
Brittney Bebeau (Harrisville, R.I.) – Becker College
Katherine DiMascio (Braintree, Mass.) – Becker College
MVP- Amy Grenier (Westminster, Mass.) – Becker College