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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

W&M Field Hockey Rolls to NCAA Opening Round Win over Sacred Heart

(Tribe Athletics)

Box Score

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — For the second time in as many trips to the NCAA Tournament, William & Mary field hockey notched a postseason victory behind a dominant 4-0 win over Northeast Conference Champion Sacred Heart on Wednesday afternoon at Karen Shelton Stadium.

Graduate student Lonica McKinney, senior Mollie Schuma, and junior Pyper Friedman each tallied a goal and an assist in the victory, while graduate student Lauren Curran scored her team-leading 15th goal of the season. Curran’s goal total is the 10th most in school history and most since 2002.

The Tribe’s four goals were the most in its four NCAA Tournament appearances. On the other end, senior goalkeeper Maddie George and the Green and Gold defense notched his fifth shutout in the last eight games. It was the program’s first shutout in five NCAA Tournament matches.

After a scoreless opening 15 minutes in which each team registered just a shot, the Tribe (12-8) turned up the pressure in a big way in the second quarter. W&M attempted seven shots, including five on goal in the next 15 minutes, and found the back of the cage twice before halftime to take control.

Senior Jayden Moon drove along the right side of the area and juked to the endline past the Pioneer defense. McKinney got on the end of Moon’s centering pass inside the crease to punch home the game’s first goal in the 20th minute. It was Moon’s sixth assist of the season, while it was McKinney’s third goal and first game-winner.

Just over 2:30 later, W&M doubled its lead on Schuma’s first marker of the season. Off the Tribe’s third penalty corner of the game, Friedman centered a pass from the left side near the endline and Schuma was there to redirect it into the far-side boards for a 2-0 lead.

The Green and Gold added two more in the third stanza. Just over four minutes into the frame, it was Curran’s turn to find the back of the cage. McKinney laid the ball over to Curran along the left side of the penalty circle, and the reigning CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player ripped a shot through the Sacred Heart goalkeeper’s legs from 10 meters out for her 11th tally in the last seven games.

In the 42nd minute, Freidman provided the final 4-0 margin with a backhanded shot from just inside the top of the circle. Schuma tallied the season, playing it to Friedman along the top of the circle. The goal was Friedman’s eighth of the year, and the assist was Schuma’s second.

W&M outshot Sacred Heart (9-11), 13-6, including a 9-1 advantage on goal. The Tribe also had a 5-3 cushion in penalty corners.

20′ | W&M – Lonica McKinney (Jayden Moon)
23′ | W&M – Mollie Schuma (Pyper Friedman)
35′ | W&M – Lauren Curran (McKinney)
42′ | W&M – Friedman (Schuma)

W&M – #1 George (GK), #2 Schuma, #3 Domovich, #5 Gruendel, #8 Friedman, #9 McGaughey, #12 Moon, #21 Goodwin, #24 McKinney, #27 Schwartz, #33 Curran
SHU – #87 Maresca (GK), #2 Lauer, #3 Skumurski, #4 Ray, #7 Kidd, #11 McConaghy, #15 Vanhorn, #19 Albert, #24 Frampton, #27 Chamberlain, #28 Brayford

Up Next
The Tribe advances to the NCAA First Round on Friday to take on defending national champion and No. 1 seed North Carolina. The match is set for a noon start time from Karen Shelton Stadium and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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