Lynchburg Falls to Rowan in NCAA Field Hockey Sectionals

Lynchburg Falls to Rowan in NCAA Field Hockey Sectionals

GLASSBORO, N.J. --- The University of Lynchburg field hockey team's season came to a close Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament with a 1-0 loss at third-ranked Rowan.

The difference was a 55th-minute goal from Rowan's Rachel Galante, a deflection shortly following a penalty corner.

Sophomore goalkeeper Laurel Nicks (Yorktown, Va.) made nine saves in the cage for the Hornets behind a defensive unit that played tough all day.

Lynchburg's team opened the game on the offensive with several early opportunities, the first of which was a fifth-minute penalty corner that saw freshman midfielder Kaylie Truitt (Lewes, Del.) and senior forward Isabella Eldridge (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) force saves by Profs goalkeeper Morgan Novak.

Novak thwarted another Lynchburg chance in the 10th minute, this time saving a shot by senior forward Nikki Simpao (Stafford, Va.), and Rowan held serve again a minute later, stealing the ball away after a penalty corner without allowing a shot.

Nicks made her first save in the 16th minute, shattering a Profs counter-attack with a one-on-one save in the arc.

The Hornets mounted the next charge as Novak was forced to save another shot off the stick of sophomore forward Jackie Lerro (Royersford, Pa.), and Simpao's shot seconds later went just wide.

Nicks again kept the game scoreless with a flurry of saves in the middle minutes of the half, and Lynchburg forced the ball into Profs territory again late, and Novak made the fifth of her six saves with 4:25 on the clock, stopping another Simpao shot.

Neither team managed another shot as the game went scoreless into halftime.

Rowan gained momentum in the second half, keeping the ball in Lynchburg territory much of the time. Bridget Guinan hit the post for the Profs in the 50th minute, and Nicks made another tough save in the 53rd after a penalty corner to keep the unbeaten hosts off the board.

The Profs finally broke through in the 55th minute as the corner insert went to Julie Johnson, who sent a ball in hard that Galante tipped into the cage.

Nicks made another save shortly after, but Lynchburg wasn't able to put another shot on goal in the remaining minutes, allowing Rowan to squeak into the national quarterfinal.

Lynchburg's defense was the only unit this season to hold the 21-0 Profs to one goal.

The loss snaps a 12-game win streak for the Hornets as the Old Dominion Athletic Conference champions finish the year with a 16-6 record and won an NCAA tournament game for the first time since the 2012 season.

--- This release is courtesy of the University of Lynchburg sports information department. ---