AMHERST, Mass. – Freshman forward Emily Peters tipped home the game-winner with less than six minutes to go in the second overtime period to give the 17th-ranked Saint Joseph's field hockey team its first Atlantic 10 championship in 22 years with a 3-2 win over Massachusetts at Gladchuk Sports Complex on Saturday.
The Hawks had the majority of possession throughout the extra frames and made it count as junior forward Anna Willocks fired a shot toward the cage; Peters was there on the far post for the tip-in to give the Hawks their first tournament title since 1995.
The assist was the 27th of Willocks’ career, breaking the previous school record held by Dani Bleam and Nicole Antonini.
Peters was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2017 Atlantic 10 Field Hockey Championship and was joined on the All-Championship Team by Willocks and freshmen Quinn Maguire and Jordan Olenginski.
Saint Joseph’s (18-3) had most of the possession through a scoreless first half. The Hawks earned five penalty corners to just one for the Minutewomen and outshot UMass, 10-1, over the opening 35 minutes.
Olenginski got the Hawks on the board seven minutes into the second half, taking a pass from sophomore Kathrin Bentz on a corner to give SJU a 1-0 lead.
Freshman Emily Henry then doubled the lead with 11:17 to go, tipping a long ball from Olenginski past UMass keeper Emily Hazard to make it 2-0.
Massachusetts (13-8) clawed back into the game, earning multiple penalty corner opportunities before breaking through with 2:20 to go as Sarah Hawkshaw’s pass was tipped in by Lucy Cooper.
The Minutewomen then drew level with 1:08 remaining as Georgie McTear scored the equalizer on a corner feed from Cooper and Mirra Stillman.
The Hawks regrouped in overtime, but UMass held a 4-2 shot advantage in the first extra period. Sophomore goalkeeper Victoria Kammerinke made a pair of stops, including disrupting Cooper on a breakaway, to keep the game tied.
The Hawks did not allow a shot in the second overtime, ripping off four of their own; the last one sent the Hawk bench pouring onto the field to celebrate the program’s second conference championship crown.
With the win, Saint Joseph's will play in its first-ever NCAA Field Hockey Championship. The bracket for the championship will be released on Sunday, November 5, at 10:00 p.m. on NCAA.com.