Field Hockey Falls To UNE In Opening Round Of NCAA Championship

Field Hockey Falls To UNE In Opening Round Of NCAA Championship

BIDDEFORD, Maine -- Becky Zakorchemny (Gilford, N.H.) scored a pair of goals to lead the University of New England to a 3-1 victory over Becker College in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship, which was played Wednesday evening (Nov. 11) at the Big Blue Turf.


The Nor'easters (17-6) move on to meet Wellesley College on Saturday in a second-round contest on the campus of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. It is now back-to-back years that Big Blue has made it into the Round of 16.


UNE finished with a 36-3 advantage in shots and 19-0 cushion in penalty corners.


Two early scoring chances were negated by defensive saves from Nikolle Storey (Cumberland, Maine) of Becker to keep things scoreless, before the hosts got on the board in the 18th minute and never looked back. Olivia Madore (Arundel, Maine) sent a ball from the left wing into the circle that Nicole Matarozzo (Wolfeboro, N.H.) trapped and flicked inside the near post for her team-leading 17th goal of the year.


The Nor'easters struck again just 2:39 later, as Desirae LeBlanc (Manchester, N.H.) collected a turnover in the midfield and pushed a pass down the right side ahead of Vonde Saunders (Conway, N.H.), who drilled a cross into the circle for Zakorchemny to guide a redirection inside the left post.


The margin remained 2-0 at the break, as Hawks goalie Gabrielle Gallo (Northport, N.Y.) posted double-digit saves in the period.


A rebound off a blocked shot in front fell to Zakorchemny at the right post in the 48th minute, and the sophomore forward tapped in her sixth goal of the season to pad the lead for UNE.


The visitors logged their first shot attempt with less than eight minutes left and ended the shutout bid in the 67th minute, as Brittney Bebeau (Harrisville, R.I.) managed to get behind the defense and dodge the goalie before sliding her team-leading 15th marker of the year into an open cage.


Gallo closed with 16 stops for the Hawks, while Holly Smith (Peabody, Mass.) recorded one save on the other end for the Nor'easters.


Becker, which was appearing in its first-ever NCAA Championship contest, wraps up the season with a record of 11-12.