Tigers Fall In Semifinals

Photo by Meghan Laurel Photography
Photo by Meghan Laurel Photography

LOWELL, Mass. - The No. 24 Pacific Tigers field hockey team was edged by No. 18 Stanford in a 3-2 overtime loss in the semifinals of the America East Conference tournament Saturday afternoon. Kriekie van Wyk and Alicia Muiños each notched a goal for the Tigers, while Gaby de Kock added an assist.

The Tigers finish the season 10-9 overall and ranked No. 24 in the nation as Stanford advances to the finals of the conference tournament.

In the first half, the Tiger defense made a statement allowing only three shots on goal as Marlise van Tonder stopped them all between the posts. The teams went back and forth for the first 33 minutes until the Tigers were awarded a penalty corner. Emma Leach inserted the ball while Ash Rutherford made the stop to setup Savannah Burns for the shot. Burns' shot was blocked and after a scrum in front of the net, the ball trickled out to find Kriekie van Wyk who fired a slapshot from the right side and the Cardinal stood no chance of stopping it as the Tigers went up 1-0 heading into halftime.

After the break, the Tigers struck again when they raced down the field and a loose ball found the stick of Gaby de Kock. The freshman looked up and located Alicia Muiños in front of the net and dished her a bouncing ball. Muiños focused in and smacked the ball right past the 'keeper and the Tigers quickly went up 2-0 in the 48th minute.

The Cardinal didn't let the Tiger lead last long as they answered with a pair of goals themselves off of a deflection and a penalty corner with 25 minutes still left to play. The two teams traded possession for the remainder of regulation to send the semifinal game into overtime.

Stanford controlled most of the possession in overtime taking six shots and two penalty corners, which was enough for the Cardinal to setup a pass from the right side of the circle. Corinne Zanolli sent the ball into the left post to allow Marissa Cicione to tap it in and end the game in the 81st minute.

"We battled and played well when we were up 2-0 and we should have won it. We need to learn how to close out those types of games, but we will get better," said head coach Andy Smith. "I want to sincerely thank the seniors for all their hard work and they have truly made this program what it is today. They will forever leave a lasting legacy for Pacific field hockey."

The Orange and Black took a total of 10 shots with Burns and van Wyk tallying three, while Muinos added a pair. In net, van Tonder made a total of five saves, while Leach posted a crucial defensive save.

In two games of the conference tournament, van Wyk netted three goals on 11 shots and added an assist.

Make sure to follow Pacific field hockey on Twitter with the username @PacificTigersFH and on Instagram at pacifictigersfh.