The Ursinus College field hockey team won its tenth Centennial Conference Championship this past Sunday, with their 2-1 win over Franklin and Marshall.
The Bears defeated Johns Hopkins on Saturday afternoon 7-0 in order to move on to play the Diplomats on Sunday, and the latter contest was tight throughout.
“When I heard the final buzzer I immediately found my teammates and we all started hugging and jumping up and down,” said senior captain Nora Kornfeld. “There’s honestly nothing quite like winning a championship and I wouldn’t want do have done it with anyone else.”
The Bears scored two goals in the first half, and only allowed one goal, which came three minutes before halftime.
Despite being outshot 15-8, the Bears had eight saves from junior goalkeeper Danielle DeSpirito. DeSpirito was named the tournament MVP, as she only let in one goal in both Saturday and Sunday’s game.
“I was nervous,” DeSpririto said. “I think we all were nervous and felt the pressure to win…I don’t really care about statistics or honors, I just want to win.”
“We really try to focus on taking it one game at a time. We didn’t go into Saturday’s game knowing we’d be playing again on Sunday,” said Kornfeld. “We focused on that game and took care of business so we could play in the championship.”
Each goal for the Bears came in the first 22 minutes of the game. Ursinus got their first goal at 6:03 when junior Megan Keenan scored on a corner off of passes by juniors Kelsey Reed and Danielle Stong.
The second goal came a little later when junior Samantha Macchio scored at 21:52 with a shot past the Diplomats goalkeeper Allie Morey off of a rebound.
The Diplomats inched toward a comeback shortly before the half when Tamara Mills scored on a deflection off of a cross from Maria Guarisco and scored.
In the second half, the Diplomats had three shots on goal in the first nine minutes with one saved by DeSpirito and two of them went wide.
The Dips had their best opportunity at 52:44 when a shot by Sydney Cole was saved by DeSpirito, and a second shot four seconds later by Guarisco was stopped at the line by Reed.
Keenan stalled in the near corner on FM’s side of the field for most of the final three minutes to close out the contest and finished the game with three shots for the Bears.
Ursinus now advances to the NCAA tournament for the second straight year. They play Saturday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. against an opponent to be decided, and should they win, will advance to the next round Sunday at 1 p.m. Both games will be played at Middlebury College in Vermont.
“We have been preparing for this upcoming weekend all season by pushing ourselves to be the best we can be,” said junior Kelsey Reed. “We will continue practicing and working hard just like we always do to prepare for upcoming games.
“[We have four] games left,” DeSpirito said, “to play for each other, play for our seniors, play for our school, and most importantly play for our coaches who have dedicated so much time to us and for us.”