KEENE, N.H.--The Keene State College field hockey team has been paired up with the State University of New York at Cortland in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Championship. The Owls will make the 313 mile trip to meet the No. 20 Red Dragons for a first round game on Wednesday, November 8, at 2 pm
The winner will face The College of New Jersey in a second round contest on Saturday, November 11 in Ewing, N.J. The other first round matchup in Keene State's pod features Centre College (Ky.) facing Washington & Jefferson (Va.) on Wednesday, with the winner facing MIT at TCNJ on Saturday.
The Red Dragons (17-3) are winners of 12 straight games, and punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament with a 5-0 win over SUNY New Paltz in the SUNYAC Championship on Saturday. Offensively, the Red Dragons are led by Jessica Welsh (13-9-35) and Jess Gibaldi (16-3-35), as well as Anna Branch (9-14-32) and Hannah Burchell (14-2-30). Kailynne Reinoehl has started all 20 games in goal and sports a 0.73 goals against average.
Keene State, meanwhile, is making its fifth straight NCAA tournament appearance after Saturday's 9-0 win over Westfield State in the Little East Conference championship tilt. The Owls boast a potent offense, led by LEC Tournament Most Outstanding Player Nina Bruno (23-7-53), as well as Jensyn Dandeneau (17-7-41), Julia Babbitt (9-10-28), and Kendal Brown (5-5-15). Freshman Rachel Loseby has made 16 starts in net with a 1.45 goals against average and an .818 save percentage.
This is the third time in four years that the Owls have faced the SUNYAC champion in the opening round, after facing New Paltz in 2014 and Geneseo in 2016. Keene State is 5-12 overall in NCAA tournament appearances, and has reached the second round in three of the last four seasons. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students with ID and senior citizens. Tickets will be available at the stadium ticket window one hour prior to game time.