Pace Field Hockey Ready for NCAA Tournament Matchup Versus Saint Anselm
PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – The historic 2018 season for the Pace University Field Hockey team continues on Sunday when the Setters play in the program's first-ever NCAA Division II Field Hockey Tournament game. Pace, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, hosts Northeast-10 Conference foe and sixth-seeded Saint Anselm at noon on Sunday, Nov. 25. Such Great Heights: Much can be said about how far the Pace field hockey program has come in just its fourth season. The Blue and Gold, sporting a roster with 11 players that have been with the team since its inception in 2015, claimed the program's first-ever NE10 regular-season title following a perfect 13-0 record in conference play. The Setters climbed all the way to No. 2 in the NFHCA national poll and finished the year atop the NCAA East Regional Rankings as Pace's 17-1 regular-season record was the team's best ever. Amazing Grace: Grace Henderson's (Kingswood, South Australia/Unley) rookie season has been one to remember, as the freshman goalkeeper has helped lead the Setters to the NCAA Tournament. Henderson heads into Sunday's contest sporting a nation-leading 0.73 goals against average after just allowing 13 goals across 19 games, while also becoming the program's single-season wins leader with 17. Henderson was named the NE10 Conference's Rookie of the Year following her stellar year in the cage. Setter Six: Pace enters the NCAA Tournament with six NE10 All-Conference Team selections. The midfield trio of Paige Predmore (Harrisburg, PA/Susquehanna Township), Jane Kasparian (Mahopac, NY/Mahopac), and Katrina Mikitish (Pittston, PA/Pittston Area) have all contributed offensively while also adding to a Pace backline that is holding opponents to 5.53 shots per game. Mia Lennon (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Lakeland)has made an immediate impact in her first season in the Blue and Gold, as the sophomore defender has shutdown opposing attacks while scoring five goals of her own. Senior Halley Rose (Dauphin, PA/Central Dauphin) leads Pace with a 15 goals season, while Henderson rounds out the Setters' strong group of All-Conference selections. Looking Past the Past: The Setters head into Sunday facing a relatively unknown situation this season—rebounding from a loss. Pace was defeated in the quarterfinals of the NE10 Championship Tournament by Assumption on Nov. 13, 1-0. The Setters have come out strong after their previous two losses, opening the year after last season's NE10 tournament loss by outscoring their first three opponents 11-1 and responding to Sept. 15's loss to Assumption with a 14 game-win streak. A Look at the Hawks: Saint Anselm makes their third straight NCAA Tournament after a 15-6 season that featured a run all the way to the NE10 Championship game. The Hawks were winners of nine straight before falling to Merrimack in the finals on Nov. 18, 2-1. Saint Anselm scored 2.9 goals per game this year while allowing 1.21 goals a contest, and were led offensively by senior Abby Walker's 11 goals. Sophomore Julia Hand was the main operator in the cage for the Hawks, making 71 saves and posting a 1.32 goals against average. Last Time Out: The Setters and Hawks met back on Oct. 13 when Pace picked up a 2-1 win in Pleasantville. Lieke van Nieuwenhuizen (Utrecht, Netherlands/St. Bonifatius) and Sarah Bard (Mohegan Lake, NY/Lakeland) scored for the Blue and Gold while Henderson worked a full 70 minutes in net, making one save.