LEICESTER, Mass. -- The Elms College field hockey team dropped a 3-2 decision at Becker on Wednesday evening in the first round of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Playoffs hosted on Alumni Field on the Becker campus in Leicester.
Becker took the first seven shots of the game, but the Hawks were unable to capitalize. In the 24th minute, Elms broke the stalemate when senior forward Jeszenia McGuire (Brimfield, Mass./Tantasqua Regional) took a cross from the right side from senior forward Madison Messier (Warren, Mass./Quaboag Regional) and scored for her 11th goal of the season to put the Blazers up 1-0. Then with just 12 seconds remaining until the break, Elms junior midfielder Madison Gabel (Agawam, Mass./Agawam) took advantage of a deflection off the keeper, putting the ball in to put the visitors up 2-0.
With Becker's season on the brink, the Hawks turned to freshman forward Emily Iacovelli (Northbridge, Mass. / Blackstone Valley Technical) for a spark. The rookie arced a ball over the goalie from the right side in the 39th minute for her ninth goal of the season as the Becker got on the board, still trailing 2-1.
In the 49th minute, the Hawks would tie it up off a penalty corner when sharp passing led to a dart from freshman midfielder Kylian Kelly (Shrewsbury, Mass. / Shrewsbury) with assists to junior midfielder Lauren Niemann (Bay Shore, N.Y. / Bay Shore) and sophomore midfielder Abigail Leahy (Charlton, Mass. / Shepherd Hill Regional). It was Kelly's sixth goal of the season as Becker tied it 2-2.
Just 27 seconds later, Becker would take advantage of a seemingly stunned Elms defense when freshman forward Jazmyne Rodriguez (Fitchburg, Mass. / Fitchburg) would pass forward to junior midfielder Katherine Bernier (Dudley, Mass. / Shepherd Hill Regional) who finished for her seventh goal of the season as the Hawks took their first lead of the game at 3-2. That would be the final score as Becker closed out the game.
Becker freshman goalkeeper Victoria Pilpel (Germantown, Md. / Seneca Valley), the 2018 NECC Goalkeeper of the Year, recorded two saves in the victory. Elms freshman goalkeeper Nora Newman (Woburn, Mass./Woburn Memorial) finished with 11 saves in a tough loss. Overall shots were 18-6 in favor of the Blazers.
Becker advances to play Thomas College, the top seed in the NAC. That game will come on Saturday, time to be determined.