READING, Pa. (11/12/16) – The No. 20 Kean University field hockey team topped FDU-Florham 3-1 on Saturday to win the ECAC Division III Region 2 Championship. It was the Cougars' 18th victory of the season, breaking the 2008 team's program record of 17wins.
The Cougars will move on the ECAC Championship on Sunday, against No. 16 Muhlenberg College at Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania. The showdown is set to begin at high noon.
Things did not start out well for the Cougars on Saturday, as FDU's Jess Pietracatella scored for the Devils on the first shot of the game at 6:45.
But after just three minutes, Kean regrouped and eventually earned three quick penalty corners. On the second one, Lia DiPiazza picked up the rebound near the goal line after Shauna LaMaina's original shot was blocked and shoved in the rebound to tie the game at one-all.
At 17:06, DiPiazza set up Krista LaMaina (pictured left) for the junior's 23rd goal of the season that completely swung the feeling of the game toward the Cougars.
The first half ended 2-1. The shots were even at 5-5, and goaltenders Erin Smith and Samantha Rubin had made two saves each.
In the second half, Krista struck again; Kayla Molnar passed her the ball across the goal mouth and LaMaina lifted it over the goaltender to double the Kean lead. Molnar had one more good chance to score late in the game, but Erin O'Connell made a defensive save to thwart the chance.
Still, the Cougars held on to win 3-1. Kean outshot the Devils 11-8 and led the corner count 12-7. Smith made five saves overall for the Cougars. FDU was the No. 1 seed in the region and Kean was the second seed.
Kean will be looking for its first ECAC Title since the aforementioned 2008 team pulled off the feat eight seasons ago.