BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Senior Hannah Flesch (Rockville, Md.) scored the game-winning goal in the first half as Wellesley College field hockey defeated the University of New England, 3-0, in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship on Saturday afternoon at Bowdoin College's Howard Ryan Field.
Wellesley improves to 17-3 overall and will play host Bowdoin (19-0) at 1:00 PM tomorrow in the NCAA quarterfinals. UNE ends the season with a 17-7 record.
Flesch scored the first goal of the game just under 13 minutes into the opening half, as the Blue converted on the third of three-straight penalty corner chances. With the Nor' Easters unable to clear the circle on the first two Blue attempts, senior Anissa Sridhar (London, Ontario, Canada) drew UNE goalkeeper Holly Smith (Peabody, Mass.) to the left post before flicking the ball to Flesch to finish on the opposite post.
Flesch's 11th goal of the season proved to be the game-winner, as Wellesley controlled possesion throughout the contest. The Blue racked up an 18-4 advantage in shots and an 18-2 edge in penalty corner opportunities, getting 12 shots on goal.
The Blue's persistence payed off with two more goals in the second half. Junior Courtney Peterson (Glastonbury, Conn.) set up the second Wellesley marker at 47:03, sending a pass from outside the circle on to the stick of Sridhar. The senior forward did the rest, depositing the ball into the cage for her team-leading 14th goal of the season.
Just over four minutes later, Peterson would add a goal of her own on the Blue's 16th penalty corner try. Following the injection by first year Rachel Hwang (Campbell, Calif.), Peterson lifted a towering shot over the heads of the UNE defense that landed softly behind Smith before smacking off the back of the cage.
Smith made nine saves in the UNE cage. Wellesley goalkeeper Lucy Hurlock (Needham, Mass.) countered with two second half stops to improve to 17-3 on the year.
With today's win Wellesley advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the third straight season. The Blue will return to Ryan Field for a 1:00 PM contest tomorrow, November 15, with host Bowdoin. The Blue and Polar Bears have played just once before in NCAA Tournament play, with Bowdoin taking a 5-2 win in 2006.