W&J Downs Elmira; Earns Empire 8 Tournament Spot
WASHINGTON, Pa.. – The Washington & Jefferson College field hockey team clinched the No. 4 seed for next week’s Empire 8 Conference Tournament following a 5-2 victory against Elmira on Saturday at a rainy Cameron Stadium.
W&J (11-7, 4-3 Empire 8) will face top-seeded Stevens in the tournament semifinals next Saturday in New Jersey at 11:30 am. The Presidents are the league’s defending champions and are making their sixth-straight Empire 8 Tournament appearance under Head Coach Jomara Coghlan.
W&J executed a set play off a penalty corner to perfection to open the scoring just over 17 minutes into the match as senior Erin Barno (Camp Hill, Pa./Cedar Cliff) netted her first of three goals on the day.
Classmate Jennifer Marabella (Sinking Spring, Pa./Holy Name) upped the Presidents’ lead to two when she deflected in a pass from sophomore Catherine Beaudoin (Barkhamsted, Conn./North Western Regional). Beaudoin assisted on both of W&J’s first-half tallies.
After Ashley Palmer cut the Presidents’ edge to 2-1, Barno answered with a pair of goals during a two-minute span early in the second half for her first career hat trick. Marabella capped the scoring by adding her school-record 59th career goal with 15 minutes left in regulation.
Freshman goalkeeper Kira Bunker (Magnolia, Del./Polytech) posted three saves for W&J, which outshot the Soaring Eagles 14-5. The Presidents also attempted 14 penalty corners compared to only three for Elmira.
Senior Amanda Pflumm (Shoreham, N.Y./Shoreham Wading River) recorded a pair of assists, while classmate Arielle King (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) dished out one.
W&J honored its six seniors prior to the match. With the victory, the senior class has now been a part of 48 victories during the last four seasons which matches a school record.
Second-seeded Utica and third-seeded St. John Fisher will play in the other semifinal. The championship match will be played Sunday at either 1:00 pm or 2:30 pm.