NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal Preview: No. 7 Field Hockey vs. No. 8 Franklin & Marshall

NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal Preview: No. 7 Field Hockey vs. No. 8 Franklin & Marshall

NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal
No. 7 Field Hockey vs. No. 8 Franklin & Marshall
Sunday, November 13—1 p.m.
MacDowell Field—Babson Park, Mass.


Babson and Franklin & Marshall will meet for the first time on Sunday afternoon in an NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal.

The winner of Sunday's match will earn a berth in the Division III Final Four, which will be held next weekend at William Smith College in Geneva, N.Y.

No. 8 Franklin & Marshall (16-4) is making its first national quarterfinal appearance since 1992 after defeating fifth-ranked TCNJ, 1-0, in overtime on Saturday afternoon. Junior Sydney Cole scored 2:23 into the extra session, while sophomore goalkeeper Ilianna Santangelo made four saves for the Diplomats. Senior Melanie Consiglio (12-2-26) and first-year Erin Coverdale (10-3-23) have combined to score six game-winning goals, and sophomore Emily Nagle (8-4-20) is tied for third on the team in assists. Santangelo entered the weekend ranked 14th in goals against average (0.93) and owns a .786 save percentage to go along with seven shutouts in 20 starts.

No. 7 Babson (20-2) reached the national quarterfinals for the first time in school history with a 3-0 victory over St. John Fisher on Saturday afternoon. Junior Elise Towers and sophomore Ashley Tango both finished with a goal and an assist for the Beavers, who set a new school record for wins in a season. Tango (17-13-47) entered the weekend ranked 13th nationally in assists per game, while Towers (19-7-45) and fellow junior Jacki Merrigan (10-4-24) have combined to score seven game-winning goals. Senior Kelsi McDougle (2-10-14), who scored Babson's first goal on Saturday, is second on the team in assists and first-year goalkeeper Deirdre Barry ranks first in Division III in goals against average (0.50) and has a .756 save percentage to go along with 11 shutouts in 21 starts.

The Beavers' 14 shutouts this fall are a new single-season program record and are also the most in Division III. Additionally, the Green and White has gone 19-0 on the year when holding its opponents to one goal or less.

Babson has won six consecutive games at home and is 10-2 this season and 18-3 over the last two year at MacDowell Field.

The Green and White has outscored its opponents 36-2 in the first half this season and has won 31 consecutive matches when leading at halftime.

In addition to playing in its first national quarterfinal and facing Franklin & Marshall for the first time, Babson has faced just one Centennial Conference opponent in the program's 34-year history. The Beavers defeated Johns Hopkins, 3-2, on September 10, 2011.

Field hockey can become the first women's program and Babson's fourth program overall along with men's soccer, ice hockey and basketball to reach the Final Four with a win on Sunday.

The Beavers are 18-1 this season and have won 37 of their last 38 matches when scoring two goals or more going back to 2014.

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