CASTLETON, Vt. – The University of Maine-Farmington clinched a berth into the 2016 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship with a 3-2 victory over Wells College Saturday afternoon at Castleton University's Spartan Stadium.
UMF jumped on the board 1:17 into the contest, drawing a penalty stroke opportunity. Emma Martineau (Greene, Maine/Leavitt) was successful on the attempt for her third goal of the season. The Beavers controlled the play through most of the first half, taking 10 total shots, including eight on goal, but Wells goalkeeper Kelsey Kokosa kept her team in the contest with six first-half saves.
Midway through the first half, Wells finally gained enough possession to put together a scoring attempt. On a penalty corner, Ivy Cromp situated herself in the middle of the box, collected the ball, and sent it towards the left side of the goal. Abby Gilson remained on the left post after starting the penalty corner and deflected Cromp's shot into the net for her second goal of the season, tying the match at 1-1.
With just over three minutes remaining before halftime, UMF retook the lead, as Emmah Spahr (Winthrop, Maine/Winthrop) found Nickyia Lovely (Gardiner, Maine/Gardiner) for her sixth goal of the season. The Beavers extended their lead to 3-1 five minutes into the second half when Lovely set up Carly Raymond (Topsham, Maine/Mt. Ararat) for her 10th goal of the season.
Wells fought back, earning four penalty corners over the span of one-and-a-half minutes. On the fourth one of the stretch, Gilson sent the ball out to Shianne Stokes on the left side of the field, and Stokes found the back of the net for her third goal of the season, pulling the Express to within one with 16:44 remaining in regulation.
The Express kept the pressure on the Beaver defense, eventually drawing their own penalty stroke opportunity with 13 minutes left in the second half, but Stokes' shot went wide to the left. Wells put together one final scoring opportunity in the final minute, but one shot by Kelly Mason was saved by UMF goalkeeper Patty Smith (Gorham, Maine/Gorham), and another Mason shot went wide as the Beavers held on for the victory.
Maine-Farmington finished with a 16-7 shot advantage, with Kokosa making six saves and Smith being credited with one save. Martineau led the Beavers with five total shots, while Mason finished with a team-high three shots for the Express.
The Beavers improved their record to 13-4 and will find out their tournament situation Sunday, Nov. 6, at 11:30 p.m. on NCAA.com. The Express conclude their season with a 5-15 overall record.