UML River Hawks

River Hawks field hockey in national championship.

Field Hockey: No. 1 River Hawks Prepped for Clash Against No. 2 Shippensburg in National Championship on Saturday

LOUISVILLE, KY – The No. 1 UMass Lowell River Hawks (23-0) will take on the No. 2 Shippensburg Raiders (21-1) in the 2010 NCAA National Championship on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Trager Stadium on the campus of University of Louisville as part of the NCAA DII Fall Championships Festival in Louisville, Ky.

The River Hawks are coming off a 5-1 semifinal victory over No. 5 Stonehill (16-7) on Thursday afternoon.  Senior forward Katie Enaire (Amesbury, Mass.) tallied six points (2g, 2a) for UMass Lowell, helping the River Hawks to their fourth consecutive National Title game and sixth in program history.  UMass Lowell is striving for its second National Championship in program history after capturing the 2005 crown.

The Shippensburg Raiders punched their ticket to the final with a 1-0 win over four-time defending National Champion Bloomsburg on Thursday.  Sophomore Sam Langone netted the game’s lone goal, sending her squad to its first National Championship game in program history.  The Raiders had been defeated in their four previous National Semifinal games.

This year is UMass Lowell’s eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, while Shippensburg is making its seventh appearance and third straight.

The River Hawks lead the nation in goals per game (5.13) and is also leading the country with just 0.35 GAA.  Shippensburg is not far behind with 4.27 goals per contest and 0.86 allowed to opponents.  UMass Lowell has outscored its foes 118-8 this year and the Raiders have owned a 94-19 advantage in the scoring department.

Both squads went undefeated in the regular season, while Shippensburg fell to East Stroudsburg in the PSAC Tournament Semifinal and UMass Lowell continued on to capture the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament Title.

The River Hawks are led offensively by the senior trio of NE-10 First Team All-Conference selections Sammy Macy (Tewksbury, Mass.), Enaire and NE-10 Player of the Year Liz Day (North Andover, Mass.), who have combined for 73 goals on the year.  Macy and Enaire recently tied the program record for goals in a season, each with 30 in 2010.

Defensively, NE-10 Goalkeeper of the Year Melanie Hopkins (Harwich, Mass.) has let up just eight goals on the year, and has amassed a .905 save percentage and 0.36 GAA.  The River Hawk defensive corps has helped the squad to out-corner opponents 271-105 this year and only allows 6.3 shots per game.

Shippensburg has been led this season by Bre White, a freshman forward, with 42 points on 16 goals and 10 assists.  Junior forward Kristina Taylor, however, has a team-best 19 goals.  Defensively, goalkeeper Ciara Delost has backboned the Raiders with a 0.76 GAA and .788 save percentage.  The squad lets up an average of 7.0 shots per game and has out-cornered its opponents 276-103 on the year.

For ticket information, directions, schedule of events and more, visit the NCAA’s Championship Festival website, here.  Live stats and video will also be available for the game, through the NCAA website.