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NCAA DIVISION I FINAL FOUR PREVIEW

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Visit the MGOBLUE.COM Division I Championship Website

 

Semifinals - Friday, November 20

  UConn vs. Syracuse - Final: Syracuse, 3-1        GAME RECAP   Watch

  Duke vs. North Carolina - Final: North Carolina 2-0       GAME RECAP    Watch

Championship - Sunday, November 22

  Syracuse vs. North Carolina - Final: Syracuse, 4-2         GAME RECAP       Watch

 

FINAL FOUR PREVIEW

The 2015 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Final Four matchups feature two of the country's biggest rivalries in college field hockey.

Semifinal one is a rematch of last year's Championship Game, featuring former Big East Conference foes Syracuse and Connecticut.  Last year, Connecticut beat Syracuse in the Championship final 1-0.  While Syracuse has never won a National Championship, they have made three Final Four appearances in the last four years.  They arguably have the best squad in program history, sweeping all of the ACC major awards this Fall-Alma Fenne, Alyssa Manley, and Roos Weers were the Offensive, Defensive, and Freshman Players of the Year respectively.  Ange Bradley was also named ACC Coach of the Year after leading the Orangewomen to a perfect 18-0 regular season finish.  Syracuse's lone loss of the season was a 2-1 overtime loss to North Carolina in the final of the ACC Tournament.

With over 600 wins, UConn's Head Coach Nancy Stevens is the winningest coach in NCAA history, across all divisions.  Impressively, the Huskies have won back-to-back Big East Conference Championships and NCAA Championships in 2013 and 2014.  UConn also swept all of the major Big East Conference awards this Fall with Charlotte Veitner, Roison Upton, and Chrissy Horn being named Offensive, Defensive, and Freshman Players of the Year respectively.  Stevens and her staff were also named Big East Coaching Staff of the Year.  UConn will aim to tie Wake Forest's record of 3 NCAA Championships in a row, but will have to first face their toughest competeition of the year- top seeded Syracuse.

Semifinal two is a long-time conference rivalry in virtually every sport- UNC vs Duke- schools that are just 15 minutes away from each other.  The Tarheels are the  2015 ACC Tournament Champions and will be making their 7th consecutive NCAA semifinal appearance, 20th in program history.  They are no stranger to the big stage and they have the scoring power to put up some big numbers.  Impressively, they have recorded 4 or more goals against 8 Top 20 opponents this season.  The Tarheels have 6 titles in program history and legendary coach, Karen Shelton, reached her 600th win last month.  UNC beat Duke 2-1 in the regular season.  Their last NCAA Championship was in 2009 and they will be anxious to bring the trophy back to Chapel Hill.

The Duke Blue Devils have never won a National Championship, but they will be making their 6th trip to the NCAA semifinals.  After two tough losses to Virginia earlier in the season, they were able to knock off the Cavaliers in the Elite 8 to advance to this year's Final Four.  In 2013, the Blue Devil's last Championship appearance, they lost in the finals to UConn 2-0.  Since being named the Duke Head Coach in 2011, Pam Bustin has compiled a 65-39 record.  Duke has proven to be one of the biggest defensive threats in the country each year.  They have the reputation of being able to upset any team in the nation.  While they may be considered the "underdog" in this year's Final Four, watch out; Duke is always a force to be wreckoned with.

Our prediction?  Has the strength of schedule of the top field hockey conference in the country, the ACC, better prepared Syracuse, North Carolina and Duke?  It hasn't seemed to impact Connecticut in their back-to-back National Championships.  We were going to make a just-for-fun prediction, but with the incredible amount of talent on each squad and the fact that these are four of the best coaches in the history of the game and they've all been in this situation before, all we can comfortably predict-- three incredible, as good as it gets hockey games.  Best of luck to all of the teams!   

Who will win the 2015 NCAA Division I Championship?


View Results

 

Overall Team Statistics      Syracuse      
(19-1-0)
   Connecticut   
(22-0-0)
  North Carolina 
(20-2-0)
       Duke        
(14-6-0)
Total Games Played 20 22 22 20
Goals For Average/Game 3.85 5.77 4.00 2.50
Goals Against Average/Game 0.95 0.55 1.32 1.45
Total Goals Scored 77 127 88 50
Total Goals Allowed 19 12 29 29
Unassisted 30 32 26 16
Penalty Strokes 6-7 7-7 2-2 0-0
Total Penalty Corners/Allowed 138/56 200/72 149/81 114/94
Goals by Period (For/Against):
    1st Half 29/8 62/4 53/10 21/12
    2nd Half 45/10 65/8 34/19 24/15
Overtime Record 3-1 0-0 1-0 5-2

MEET THE TEAMS

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY (Syracuse, NY)
Overall Record: 19-1-0 (Loss: UNC 1-2 OT)
Head Coach: Ange Bradley
Conference: ACC (2015 ACC Tournament Runner-Up)
Final 2015 NFHCA Ranking: #2
Top 20 Wins: Stanford: 2-1, UMass: 4-0 & 4-2, North Carolina: 4-2, Boston College: 3-2, Virginia: 3-1, Boston U: 5-1, Louisville: 2-1, Wake Forest: 6-0, Princeton: 4-2 & 5-0, Duke: 1-0, Virginia: 3-2 OT
Links:     Official Website       Schedule       Roster       Statistics

Players-to-Watch

 

Alma Fenne (Grad Student, ACC Offensive Player-of-the-Year, 16 goals/9 assists/4 game-winning goals)
Alyssa Manley (Senior, ACC Defensive Player-of-the-Year, 4 goals/7 assists)
Roos Weers (Freshman, ACC Freshman-of-the-Year, 14 goals/9 assists/4 game-winning goals)
Emma Russell (Senior Forward, ACC 2nd Team, 13 goals/5 assists/4 game-winning goals)
Laura Hurff (Sophomore Midfielder, ACC 2nd Team, 3 goals/3 assists)
Jess Jecko (Senior Goalkeeper, ACC 2nd Team, 0.74 Save %, 19 goals against in 20 games)




UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT (Storrs, CT)
Overall Record: 22-0-0
Head Coach: Nancy Stevens
Conference: Big East (2015 Big East Conference Champions)
Final 2015 NFHCA Ranking: #3
Top 20 Wins: Northwestern: 4-1, Boston College: 2-1 & 1-0, Stanford: 3-2, Old Dominion: 1-0 & 4-3, Boston U: 5-0, Princeton: 4-1, Louisville: 3-0
Links:     Official Website      Schedule       Roster       Statistics

Players-to-Watch

Charlotte Veitner (Sophomore Forward, Big East Offensive Player-of-the-Year, 39 goals/21 assists/10 game-winning goals)
Roison Upton (Senior Midfielder, Big East Defensive Player-of-the-Year, 15 goals/13 assists/3 game-winning goals)
Nina Klein (RS Sophomore Goalkeeper, Big East 1st Team, 0.81 Save %, 11 goals against in 22 games)
Anna Middendorf (Junior Back, Big East 1st Team, 11 goals/6 assists/3 game-winning goals)
Olivia Bolles (Junior Back, Big East 2nd Team)
Karlie Heistand (Sophomore Midfield/Back, Big East 2nd Team)
Pippa Lewis (Grad Student, Midfield, Big East 2nd Team, 8 goals/14 assists)
Casey Umstead (Sophomore Forward/Mid, Big East 2nd Team, 17 goals/7 assists/3 game-winning goals)
Amelia Iacobucci (Freshman Forward/Mid, Big East Freshman-of-the-Year, 10 goals)


UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA (Chapel Hill, NC)
Overall Record: 20-2-0 (Losses: Wake Forest 2-3, Syracuse: 2-4)
Head Coach: Karen Shelton
Conference: ACC (2015 ACC Tournament Champions)
Final 2015 NFHCA Ranking: #1
Top 20 Wins: Michigan: 2-1 & 1-0, Princeton: 5-2, Albany: 4-2, Louisville: 5-0 & 2-1, Boston College: 5-0 & 3-2, Virginia: 8-3, Duke: 2-1, Liberty: 7-1, Old Dominion: 5-1, Syracuse: 2-1 OT, Boston U: 4-2
Links:     Official Website       Schedule       Roster       Statistics

Players-to-Watch

Nina Notman (Senior Midfield, ACC 1st Team, 14 goals/6 assists/4 game-winning goals)
Emily Wold (Senior Midfield, ACC 1st Team, 14 goals/11 assists, 3 game-winning goals)
Julia Young (Junior Back, ACC 1st Team, 10 assists)
Casey DiNardo (Senior Forward, ACC 2nd Team, 11 goals/2 assists/3 game-winning goals)
Gab Major (Sophomore Forward, leads team with 17 goals/9 assists/5 game-winning goals)


DUKE UNIVERSITY (Durham, NC)
Overall Record: 14-6-0 (Losses: Stanford: 2-3 OT, Wake Forest: 1-2, Virginia: 2-4 & 1-5, North Carolina: 1-2, Syracuse: 0-1 OT)
Head Coach: Pam Bustin
Conference: ACC (Eliminated in Quarterfinals of 2015 ACC Tournament)
Final 2015 NFHCA Ranking: #6
Top 20 Wins: Northwestern: 2-1, Maryland: 2-1 OT, Old Dominion: 3-1, Delaware: 5-1, Louisville: 2-0, Boston College: 2-1, Boston U: 1-0 OT, James Madison: 2-1 OT, Liberty: 3-2 OT, Stanford: 1-0 OT, Virginia: 2-1
Links:     Official Website       Schedule       Roster       Statistics

Players-to-Watch

Aileen Johnson (Senior Midfield, ACC 1st Team, 2 goals/8 assists)
Lauren Blazing (Senior Goalkeeper, ACC 1st Team, 0.786 Save %, 28 goals against in 20 games)
Amanda Kim (Senior Back, ACC 2nd Team)
Hannah Barreca (Senior Back, ACC 2nd Team)
Heather Morris (Junior Forward, team-leading 11 goals/4 assists/3 game-winning goals)

 

 

NCAA DIVISION I CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

  YEAR  CHAMPION(RECORD)        COACH      SCORE RUNNER-UP SITE
  2014 Connecticut (20-3) Nancy Stevens          1-0 Syracuse Maryland
  2013 Connecticut (21-4) Nancy Stevens          2-0 Duke Old Dominion
  2012 Princeton (20-1) Kristen Holmes-Winn          3-2 North Carolina Old Dominion
  2011 Maryland (19-4) Missy Meharg        3-2 (ot) North Carolina Louisville
  2010 Maryland (23-1) Missy Meharg       3-2 (2 ot) North Carolina Maryland
  2009 North Carolina (20-2) Karen Shelton          3-2 Maryland Wake Forest
  2008 Maryland (22-2) Missy Meharg          4-2 Wake Forest Louisville
  2007 North Carolina (24-0) Karen Shelton          3-0 Penn State Maryland
  2006 Maryland (23-2) Missy Meharg          1-0 Wake Forest Wake Forest
  2005 Maryland (23-2) Missy Meharg          1-0 Duke Louisville
  2004 Wake Forest (20-3) Jennifer Averill          3-0 Duke Wake Forest
  2003 Wake Forest (22-1) Jennifer Averill          3-1 Duke Massachusetts
  2002 Wake Forest (20-2) Jennifer Averill          2-0 Penn State Louisville
  2001 Michigan (18-5) Marcia Pankratz          2-0 Maryland Kent State
  2000 Old Dominion (25-1) Beth Anders          3-1 North Carolina Old Dominion
  1999 Maryland (24-1) Missy Meharg          2-1 Michigan Northeastern
  1998 Old Dominion (23-2) Beth Anders          3-2 Princeton Penn
  1997 North Carolina (20-3) Karen Shelton          3-2 Old Dominion Connecticut
  1996 North Carolina (23-1) Karen Shelton          3-0 Princeton Boston College
  1995 North Carolina (24-0) Karen Shelton          5-1 Maryland Wake Forest
  1994 James Madison (20-3-1) Christy Morgan     2-1 (2 ot)* North Carolina Northeastern
  1993 Maryland (21-3) Missy Meharg     2-1 (2 ot)* North Carolina Rutgers
  1992 Old Dominion (25-0) Beth Anders          4-0 Iowa VCU
  1991 Old Dominion (26-0) Beth Anders          2-0 North Carolina Villanova
  1990 Old Dominion (23-2-1) Beth Anders          5-0 North Carolina Rutgers
  1989 North Carolina (20-2) Karen Shelton     2-1 (3 ot)* Old Dominion Springfield
  1988 Old Dominion (26-1) Beth Anders          2-1 Iowa Penn
  1987 Maryland (18-4-1) Sue Tyler       2-1 (ot) North Carolina North Carolina
  1986 Iowa (19-2-1) Judith Davidson      2-1 (2 ot) New Hampshire Old Dominion
  1985 Connecticut (19-2) Diane Wright          3-2 Old Dominion Old Dominion
  1984 Old Dominion (23-0) Beth Anders          5-1 Iowa Springfield
  1983 Old Dominion (23-0) Beth Anders      3-1 (3 ot) Connecticut Penn
  1982 Old Dominion (20-1) Beth Anders          3-2 Connecticut Temple
  1981 Connecticut (15-2-3) Diane Wright          4-1 Massachusetts Connecticut