Cardinals set to host Gwynedd-Mercy in ECAC Quarterfinals

Cardinals set to host Gwynedd-Mercy in ECAC Quarterfinals

WASHINGTON – The Cardinals field hockey team will begin its quest for an ECAC championship on Wednesday afternoon as CUA plays host to Gwynedd-Mercy College inside Cardinal Stadium in the quarterfinals.  CUA was awarded the top seed in the eight-team Mid-Atlantic Region and enters the tournament with a record of 14-4.

The Cardinals will be looking to bounce back from a tough 3-2 loss to No. 18 Juniata over the weekend in the Landmark Conference championship game.  CUA fell behind 3-1 to the Eagles, pulled to within one score with six minutes to play, but ultimately fell one goal short.

Despite the loss, CUA has had a terrific season, racking up numerous milestones and accolades throughout.  The Cardinals are ranked No. 19 in the latest Kookaburra/NFHCA Coaches Poll, marking the eighth consecutive week in which they have been nationally ranked.  In addition, CUA is 19th in both the rankings, as well as the ratings.

CUA's success has come in large part thanks to a strong balance of offense and defense.  The Cardinals have scored 69 goals on the year, and allowed only 19.  CUA has registered nine shutouts and held each opponent it has defeated to one or fewer goals.

Three Cardinals have scored double-digit goals, including Mary Swarthout (15), Emma Dixon (11), and Meredith Chandler (10), while 15 Cardinals have netted at least one score.

CUA enters Wednesday's contest leading the Landmark Conference in scoring margin, scoring average, shutouts, goals against average, goals scored, goals scored per game, goals allowed, goals allowed per game and assists per game.  CUA has enjoyed playing in the friendly confines of Cardinal Stadium all season long, posting a 6-1 record, including a perfect 4-0 mark vs. non-conference foes.

Gwynedd-Mercy enters Wednesday's contest with a record of 13-7, including a 7-1 mark within the Colonial States Athletic Conference.  The Griffins advanced to their conference championship game where they fell to Cabrini by a 3-1 score on November 6.

Leading the way offensively for Gwynedd-Mercy this season has been Maria Karidas (14 goals, 34 points), Sarah Jackson (11 goals, 27 points) and Christine Hammitt (11 goals, 26 points).  The Griffins have outscored their opponents 69-40 and outshot them by a nearly two-to-one margin (416-212). 

Kaylin Bassett has started 16 games in goal for the Griffins and stopped 81 shots during that time.  She has earned ten wins and posted a goals against average of 2.20 in 1,112 minutes of action.

Joining CUA and Gwynedd-Mercy in their half of the tournament bracket are SUNY Oneonta (11-7) and Kean University (10-6).  The four teams in the bottom portion of the bracket include Wesley College (13-9), FDU-Florham (10-10), Alvernia (11-9) and a familiar CUA foe, Drew University (13-6).  The entire Mid-Atlantic Region bracket can be viewed here.

The Cardinals and Griffins will get things started at 4:00 on Wednesday from inside Cardinal Stadium.  The winner of that game will then move onto Saturday's semifinals, where they will face the winner of the SUNY Oneonta and Kean University matchup.