Field Hockey Shuts Down Hartwick for ECAC Championship

Montclair, NJ (11/15/09) – The Montclair State field hockey team capped off an impressive end of the year run as the second-seeded Red Hawks scored three times in final 13 minutes for a 3-0 victory over No. 8 seed Hartwick in the title game of the 2009 Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Mid-Atlantic Field Hockey Championship at Sprague Field on Sunday afternoon.

Junior Deana Hagel (Fairfield, NJ / West Essex), sophomore Chelsea Keelen (Middletown, NJ / Middletown South) and senior Justine DiPaolo (Lanoka Harbor, NJ / Lacey) each tallied once for the Red Hawks, who claimed their third title in the last four years and their fifth overall. Senior defender Danielle Altersitz (Thorofare, NJ / Kingsway) was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player as she led an MSU defensive charge that did not surrender a goal in the three games while allowing just 17 shots overall.

The championship goes along with the ECAC crowns MSU won in 1990, 2001, 2006 and 2007.

Junior goalkeeper Mackenzie Chapman (Niskayuna, NY / Niskayuna) made six saves for Hartwick, which finished the year at 13-8. The Hawks had an impressive tournament run of their own as they reached the finals by upsetting No. 1 seed Wilkes in the opening round and topping No. 4 seed Alvernia in the semifinals on Saturday. The Hawks were seeking their third championship as they also earned championships in 1992 and 1995.

Montclair State, which finished the year 15-6 overall, did not allow a shot in the first half and gave up just two in the game. However, the Red Hawks couldn’t muster and goals themselves despite outshooting Hartwick 10-2 in the game.

Chapman made three saves in the first half and two more in the early portion of the second before Montclair finally broke through at the 57:31 mark. Megan Walsh (Lumberton, NJ / Rancocas Valley) fed a ball into the circle on the right side toward a cutting Hagel, who picked up the pass and moved toward the right pots before uncorking a shot back across inside the left post for her 17th goal of the year as Montclair went up 1-0.

MSU would increase that lead less than four minutes later. Off a penalty corner, Jessica Murphy (West Long Branch, NJ / Shore Regional) slipped a pass toward the right side of the circle to Keelen. Keelen collected the pass and first a shot through the pads of Chapman for her second as the Red Hawks led by two goals with nine minutes remaining.

Montclair’s final goal came from DiPaolo, who made a 40-yard run to score her 11th and final career tally. Picking up the ball just across midfield, DiPaolo moved down the sideline before crossing and cradling the ball into the middle of the circle. Once there, she flipped the shot inside the right post for her 18th career with 58 seconds remaining.

Freshman Megan Bosland (Boonton, NJ / Boonton) stopped one shot for her third shutout of the year and Montclair’s eighth. MSU which finished with eight penalty corners to Hartwick’s three, also ended the year with six consecutive victories, outscoring its opponents 27-2. The 15 wins by Montclair mark the sixth time in program history that the Red Hawks captured that number of victories in one campaign.