SALISBURY, Md. — Sophomore Courtney Peterson scored a pair of goals as No. 8 Wellesley College field hockey advanced to the Third Round of the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship with a 3-0 victory over Juniata on Saturday at Sea Gull Stadium.
Wellesley improves to 19-2 overall, breaking last year's program record for wins in a season. The Blue have also advanced to the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.
Wellesley will face host Salisbury University, the top-ranked team in the nation, tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 PM for the right to advance to championship weekend, Nov. 22-23, at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Salisbury advanced earlier in the day with a 4-0 victory over Centre.
Senior Nathalie Gruet opened the scoring just 3:19 into the contest, taking advantage of the Blue's first penalty corner opportunity on the day to score her twenty-first goal of the season. Courtney Peterson inserted the ball to sophomore Nikki Sharkin who took a shot that Gruet redirected to beat Juniata goalie Julianne Jones from the left wing to make the score 1-0.
After scoring on their first penalty corner, the Blue would earn nine more opportunities on the afternoon to just two for the Eagles. Wellesley would take advantage of two more penalty corners to make the score 3-0 before halftime.
With just five minutes to go before the break, the Blue drew a penalty corner and this time it was Courtney Peterson who found the net for the first time. Courtney Peterson used a feed from Gruet to score her thirteenth goal of the year. Courtney Peterson inserted the ball to Gruet who ripped a shot from the top of the arc that Courtney Peterson then knocked into the cage while standing at the left post.
The Blue then drew a pair of penalty corners in the dying seconds of the first half, converting on the second. With no time on the clock, Wellesley was granted its fifth penalty corner of the first. However, following the insertion, a Juniata foul led to the sixth penalty corner and the third Wellesley goal.
Courtney Peterson again inserted the ball to Sharkin, who unleashed a shot from the top of the arc. A scramble ensued in front of the cage before Courtney Peterson again found the ball on the left post and finished for her second goal of the game and fourteenth of the season.
The three goal first proved to be more than enough as Wellesley held serve, limiting Juniata to just one shot in each half. The Blue finished with an 8-2 advantage in shots.
In the cage, Juniata's Julianne Jones and Shelby Miller both saw action, combining to make four saves in the loss.
The Blue will be looking to avenge last season's 4-1 loss to Salisbury in tomorrow's Third Round game. Game time is 1:00 PM. Live Stats and video can be found by clicking here.