May 2, 2010
The Sacred Heart Pioneers will travel to Annapolis, Maryland on Saturday, May 8th to take on Patriot League Champion Navy in the 2010 NCAA Play-In Game. The three-time Northeast Conference Champion Pioneers and Midshipmen will face-off at 2:00 pm at Marine Corps Memorial Stadium with a berth in the 2010 NCAA Tournament going to the winner.
This will be the third-straight apperance for Sacred Heart in the play-in round as they look to crack the NCAA Tournament field for the first time in program history. The Pioneers beat rival Quinnipiac 12-7 a week ago for the third-straight season to claim the NEC crown. SHU posted a perfect run through the Northeast Conference, going 9-0 in the regular season and adding a pair of tournament victories.
The Pioneers will head into the match-up with Navy riding a school record 12-game winning streak. Head Coach Laura Cook's Pioneers have run off a school record 14 wins (14-4) this season.
SHU fell in the 2008 play-in game at #6 ranked Boston University 15-3 and came-up short in the 2009 play-in round falling to Fairfield Unviersity, 16-10.
Sacred Heart will face the Midshipmen with impressive offensive weapon in senior attacker Carissa Hauser and stout defensive stopper in senior Chelsea Wagner in goal. Hauser, the 2010 NEC Player of the Year, has 78 points this season coming off 46 goals and 32 assists. Wagner, the 2010 NEC Goalkeeper of the Year, is one of the stingiest goalkeepers in the nation this season, posting a 7.70 goals against average with 167 saves and a NCAA leading .592 save percentage.
Navy is coming off their first Patriot League Championship after an 11-9 win at top-seeded Lehigh on Sunday. Navy has won seven of its last eight games and a school record 16 games this spring heading into next Saturday's match-up.
The Midshipmen are led by the nation's leading scorer in senior Erin Rawlick who has 105 points on the season, on 72 goals and 33 assists. She was named the Patriot League Tournament MVP after scoring eight goals with three assists in wins over Colgate and Lehigh en route to the title.
Navy finished 11-1 at home this season and posted wins over Northeast Conference schools Monmouth (17-5) and Robert Morris (14-4). SHU and Navy had two other common opponents in Lafayette (14-8) and Manhattan (19-6), both wins.