On the heels of the program’s first Northeast-10 Conference Championship in school history, the fifth-ranked Merrimack College field hockey program learned on Monday afternoon that it earned the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championship to receive the program’s fifth NCAA Tournament berth ever.
As the fifth seed, the program will head on the road to face the fourth seed and fourth-ranked team in the nation Shippensburg University on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Robb Sports Complex on Shippensburg’s campus. With a win, the Warriors would advance to the national semifinals which will be hosted at Duquesne University as part of the NCAA Division II Fall Festival. The national semifinals will take play on Thursday, Nov. 29, followed by the national championship game on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Merrimack entered the tournament as the second-seeded team from the East Region, as Pace received the East’s top billing while Saint Anselm qualified as the third seed. In the reseeding process, the Setters earned the Championship’s third seed and will host the sixth-seeded Hawks on Sunday. West Chester University received the top overall seed as the Pennsylvania School Athletic Conference’s champion, and East Stroudsburg was named the No. 2 seed. Both West Chester and East Stroudsburg get byes into the national semifinals.
The Warriors enter the tournament with a school-record 18 victories, with the record-setting triumph coming during Sunday’s NE10 Championship contest against Saint Anselm. The Warriors won, 2-1, behind senior Mary McNeil’s game-winning goal off a penalty corner with 0:00 on the clock. Sunday will mark the program’s first NCAA Tournament game since the 2015 national championship game.
Shippensburg advanced to the PSAC Championship Game via a 2-1 win in overtime in the quarterfinals over Bloomsburg followed by a 3-0 upset of East Stroudsburg in the semifinals. The Raiders won 16 total games and enter the 2018 tournament as the defending national champions.