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2015 NCAA DIVISION III FINAL FOUR PREVIEW

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Visit the Washington & Lee Division III Championship Website

Semifinals - Saturday, November 21

  Ursinus vs. Bowdoin - Final: Bowdoin, 4-2     GAME RECAP      Watch

  Middlebury vs. TCNJ - Final: Middlebury, 4-1       GAME RECAP    Watch

Championship - Sunday, November 22

  Bowdoin vs. Middlebury - Final: Middlebury, 1-0         GAME RECAP       Watch

FINAL FOUR PREVIEW

The 2015 NCAA Division III Final Four features the nation's top four teams, with the #1-4 ranked teams all advancing to the semifinals.

NESCAC Coach of the Year Nicky Pearson's undefeated 20-0 Bowdoin College team enter their ninth NCAA Final Four in the last 11 seasons.  The Polar Bears have appeared in the NCAA Championship game in five of the last eight years, winning the title in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2013.  They are the lone unbeaten Division III team and entered the tournament ranked 1st in the Final NFHCA Division III Coaches Poll.  The Polar Bears captured their eighth NESCAC Championship this Fall with a 2-1 win over Middlebury.  Senior forward Rachel Kennedy was named the NESCAC Player of the Year for the second year in a row.  She led the conference in scoring and enters the semifinals with 33 goals, including 10 game-winners.  Senior Kim Kahnweiler was named the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year and leads the Polar Bear defense that has allowed just .65 goals per game.  Bowdoin's last loss came to TCNJ in last year's National Championship game, 2-0.

Bowdoin will face the 19-3 Centennial Conference Champions Ursinus.  The Bears have only fallen to high ranked opponents this year (William Smith: 5-4 OT, Franklin & Marshall: 2-0 and their third loss was to Division II West Chester University who will be appearing in the Division II Final Four).  Ursinus avenged their regular season loss to Franklin & Marshall, defeating them 1-0 in the Centennial Conference Tournament Final to win the title.  The conference title was their third consecutive and eleventh in the past twelve seasons.  Ursinus has been a force in the postseason, rolling through the regional tournament with a 10-0 win over Stevens Tech and a 5-0 win over a Rochester in the quarterfinal.  They are led by senior Centennial Conference Player of the Year Megan Keenan.  Keenan has put up some big numbers for the Bears so far this season.  She enters the semifinal with 21 goals, 20 assists, and 5 game-winning goals.  Ursinus and Bowdoin last met in the NCAA semifinals seven years ago, with the Polar Bears winning, 3-2, on the way to winning the 2008 National Championship.

The second semifinal features the defending Natonal Champions, the College of New Jersey (TCNJ).  TCNJ will be competing for their 12th NCAA Division III Champions title.  Long-time Head Coach Sharon Pfluger has led the lions to nine of those Championships and boasts one of the best coaching resume's in the game.  TCNJ enters the semifinals with one loss this season, a 2-1 loss at Ursinus in mid-October.  Junior's Jacyln Douglas and Lexi Smith were recently named NJAC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.  The two have combined for 37 goals, 17 assists, and 9 game-winning goals so far.  Middlebury will have their hands full slowing those two down.      

Middlebury is making its seventh appearance in the NCAA Final Four.  The Panthers won the National Championship one time, back in 1998, and have been the Runner-Up four times since, in 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2011.  Middlebury received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after only falling to #1 ranked Bowdoin in two 2-1 games, once during the regular season and once in the NESCAC Tournament final.  The Panther's roster is strong and well balanced and their offense and defense rank among the best in the country.  The scoring duo of junior Pam Schulman and sophomore Annie Leonard are responsible for 40 of the team's 83 goals so far this year.

Predictions?  Bowdoin seems pretty unstoppable this year, but if anyone in the country can hand them their first loss of the season, it is one of these three teams.  One thing is for sure about this weekend- we have four of the nation's top offenses (all teams averaging 3.9 goals per game and up) and the top defenses (all team's allowing 1 goal or less per game), along with some of the nation's top individual goal scorers--  something will have to give!  We expect three incredibly competitive hockey games and the team who shows up on back-to-back days and executes best will earn the opportunity to raise the 2015 Championship trophy.

 

Who will win the 2015 NCAA Division III Championship?


View Results

 

Overall Team Statistics        Bowdoin       
(20-0-0)
           TCNJ       
    (20-1-0)
      Middlebury    
 (18-2-0)
       Ursinus       
(19-3-0)
Total Games Played 20
21
20
22
Goals For Average/Game 3.90
4.14
4.15
4.68
Goals Against Average/Game .65
.67
.75
1.00
Total Goals Scored 78
87
83
103
Total Goals Allowed 11
14
15
21
Unassisted 28
35
18
36
Penalty Strokes 5-8
3-3
3-4
3-4
Total Penalty Corners/Allowed 236/129
273/101
199/99
328/164
Overtime Record 1-0
2-0
0-0
0-1

MEET THE TEAMS

BOWDOIN COLLEGE (Brunswick, ME)
Overall Record: 20-0-0
Head Coach: Nicky Pearson
Conference: NESCAC (2015 NESCAC Champions)
Final 2015 NFHCA Ranking: #1
Links:     Official Website       Schedule      Roster       Statistics

Players-to-Watch

Rachel Kennedy (Senior Forward, 2x NESCAC Player-of-the-Year, leads conference with 33 goals/5 assists/10 game-winning goals)
Kim Kahnweiler (Senior, NESCAC Defensive Player-of-the-Year)
Kimmy Ganong (Junior Forward, NESCAC 1st Team, 21 goals/6 assists/4 game-winning goals)
Mettler Growney (Junior Midfield, NESCAC 2nd Team)
Kelsey Mullaney (Senior Back, NESCAC 2nd Team, 13 assists)




 

URSINUS COLLEGE (Collegeville, PA)
Overall Record: 19-3-0 (Losses: William Smith: 4-5 OT, Franklin & Marshall: 0-2, West Chester (D2): 3-6
Head Coach: Janelle Benner
Conference: Centennial
Final 2015 NFHCA Ranking: #4
Links:     Official Website       Schedule       Roster      Statistics

Players-to-Watch

Megan Keenan (Senior Midfield, Centennial Player-of-the-Year, 21 goals/20 assists/5 game-winning goals)
Aliki Torrence (Junior Back, Centennial 1st Team)
Amber Steigerwalt (Junior Forward, Centennial 1st Team, 20 goals/9 assists/6 game-winning goals)
Danielle DeSpirito (Senior Goalkeeper, Centennial 1st Team, allowed 21 goals in 22 games, .708 Save %)
Bridget Sherry (Freshman Back, Centennial 2nd Team)
Devin Brakel (Senior Forward, 16 goals/5 assists)


THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY (Ewing, NJ)
Overall Record: 20-1-0 (Loss: Ursinus: 1-2)
Head Coach: Sharon Pfluger
Conference: NJAC
Final 2015 NFHCA Ranking: #2
Links:     Official Website       Schedule       Roster       Statistics

Players-to-Watch

Jaclyn Douglas (Junior Forward, NJAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year, 16 goals/7 assists/3 game-winning goals)
Lexi Smith (Junior Back, NJAC Defensive Player-of-the-Year, 21 goals/10 assists/6 game-winning goals)
Danielle Andreula (Junior Midfield, NJAC 1st Team)
Mikayla Cimilluca (Senior Midfield, NJAC 1st Team)
Alicia Wagner (Senior Forward, 17 goals, 4 game-winning goals)


MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE (Middlebury, VT)
Overall Record: 18-2-0 (Bowdoin: 1-2 & 1-2)
Head Coach: Katharine DeLorenzo
Conference: NESCAC
Final 2015 NFHCA Ranking: #3
Links:     Official Website       Schedule       Roster       Statistics

Players-to-Watch

Bridget Instrum (Senior Forward, NESCAC 1st Team, 8 goals/10 assists)
Lauren Berestecky (Junior Midfield, NESCAC 1st Team)
Shannon Hutteman (Senior Back, NESCAC 1st Team)
Pam Schulman (Junior Forward, NESCAC 2nd Team, 17 goals/9 assists/8 game-winning goals)
Anna Kenyon (Senior Midfield, NESCAC 2nd Team)
Grace Jennings (Freshman Midfield, NESCAC Rookie-of-the-Year, 14 assists)
Annie Leonard (Sophomore Midfield, team-leading 23 goals/7 assists)


 

NCAA DIVISION III CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY 

YEAR CHAMPION (RECORD) COACH SCORE RUNNER-UP SITE
2014 TCNJ (23-1) Sharon Pfluger 2-0 Bowdoin  
2013 Bowdoin (18-3) Nicky Pearson 1-0 Salisbury Old Dominion
2012 Tufts (19-2) Tina McDavitt 2-1 Montclair State William Smith
2011 TCNJ (24-2) Sharon Goldbrenner-Pfluger
3-1 Middlebury Nichols
2010 Bowdoin (20-1) Nicky Pearson 2-1 (2 ot)* Messiah Christopher Newport
2009 Salisbury (20-1) Dawn Chamberlin 1-0 Messiah Mount Holyoke
2008 Bowdoin (20-1) Nicky Pearson 3-2 (2 ot) Tufts Ursinus
2007 Bowdoin (20-0) Nicky Pearson 4-3 Middlebury Ursinus
2006 Ursinus (21-3) Laura Moliken 3-2 Messiah William Smith
2005 Salisbury (21-1) Dawn Chamberlin 1-0 Messiah Washington & Lee
2004 Salisbury (22-0) Dawn Chamberlin 6-3 Middlebury Westfield State
2003 Salisbury (20-1 Dawn Chamberlin 4-1 Middlebury Lebanon Valley
2002 Rowan (21-0) Penny Kempf 1-0 Messiah Springfield
2001 SUNY Cortland (19-2) Cynthia Wetmore 1-0 Messiah Springfield
2000 William Smith (20-1) Sally Scatton 1-0 Springfield Salisbury
1999 TCNJ (20-0) Sharon Goldbrenner-Pfluger 4-1 Amherst TCNJ
1998 Middlebury (17-1) Missy Foote 3-2 (ot) William Smith William Smith
1997 William Smith (22-1) Sally Scatton 3-0 SUNY Cortland Lebanon Valley
1996 TCNJ (21-1) Sharon Goldbrenner-Pfluger 2-1 Hartwick TCNJ
1995 TCNJ (20-0) Sharon Goldbrenner-Pfluger 2-1 Messiah TCNJ
1994 SUNY Cortland (24-1) Pat Rudy 2-1 TCNJ Messiah
1993 SUNY Cortland (22-1-1) Pat Rudy 1-0 Mary Washington Mary Washington
1992 William Smith (22-1) Sally Scatton 1-0 TCNJ TCNJ
1991 TCNJ (19-0-1) Sharon Goldbrenner-Pfluger
1-0 Bloomsburg TCNJ
1990 TCNJ (18-0-1) Sharon Goldbrenner-Pfluger
2-1 Bloomsburg Bloomsburg
1989 Lock Haven (17-4-2) Sharon Taylor 2-1 TCNJ SUNY Cortland
1988 TCNJ (21-0-2) Sharon Goldbrenner-Pfluger
3-2 (2 ot)* Bloomsburg TCNJ
1987 Bloomsburg (24-1) Jan Hutchinson 1-0 William Smith William Smith
1986 Salisbury (21-0) Karen Weaver 3-2 Bloomsburg TCNJ
1985 TCNJ (22-3) Sharon Goldbrenner-Pfluger
2-1 Millersville Drew
1984 Bloomsburg (19-0) Jan Hutchinson 3-2 Messiah TCNJ
1983 TCNJ (23-1) Melissa Magee 2-1 Ithaca Ithaca
1982 Ithaca (18-3) Doris Kostrinsky 2-1 (2 ot)* TCNJ Elizabethtown
1981 TCNJ (20-0) Melissa Magee 2-0 Franklin & Marshall Westfield State