Field hockey opens NCAA tournament on Saturday

Field hockey opens NCAA tournament on Saturday

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 3 Salisbury University field hockey team opens what it hopes will be a run to the program's sixth national championship on Saturday, as the host of second- and third-round NCAA tournament games at Sea Gull Stadium. Salisbury will take on No. 6 Tufts University at 11 a.m., followed by Wellesley College taking on Ursinus College at 2 p.m.

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How we got here

Salisbury received the Capital Atheltic Conference's automatic bid in the NCAA tournament following the program's 17th CAC title last weekend, defeating then-No. 3 Christopher Newport University, 1-0 in double overtime, handing the Captains their first loss of the season.

How they got here

The Jumbos received an at-large bid (Pool C) into the NCAA tournament after falling to Bowdoin College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference tournament semifinals, 4-2. Tufts advanced past the first round, rolling to a 5-0 win against Anna Maria College. The Jumbos scored three times in the first 13:30 of the contest and never looked back, outshooting the AMCATS 32-2.

Series history

Salisbury and Tufts have met just twice in the history of the programs. Both meetings have been in the NCAA tournament, with Salisbury claiming both games. Salisbury has outscored the Jumbos by a combined 3-0 in the two meetings, including a 2-0 victory in the first meeting and the only one in Salisbury, Md., during the 2007 NCAA tournament's second round.

The last time we met

The most recent meeting between the two teams came in the NCAA semifinal during the 2009 season. Salisbury came up with the 1-0 victory, as Allison Bloodsworth put home the only goal in the 46th minute, off an assist from Tara McGovern. The Jumbos outshot Salisbury, 10-8, and the teams were even with six penalty corners apiece.

Scouting Tufts

The Jumbos enter this weekend's play having won 10 of their last 11 contests. Tufts has played six true road games this season, winning five. Their only road loss this year is a 3-0 defeat at Amherst College on Sept. 28. Sophomore midfielder Dakota Sikes-Keilp leads the Jumbos with 16 goals and 38 points; her 0.88 goals per game ranks 51st nationally. Senior forward Chelsea Yogerst has put up 11 goals. Junior Bri Keenan has played more than 1,119 minutes in goal, registering a 1.00 goals-against average, 13th-best in Division III.

What's next?

The winner of Saturday morning's game will advance to the third round on Sunday afternoon, taking on the winner of the Wellesley/Ursinus game. Sunday's contest will begin at 1 p.m., at Sea Gull Stadium.

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