Cortland field hockey crowned SUNYAC champions

(Darl Zehr Photography)

CORTLAND, N.Y. – The Cortland Red Dragon field hockey team captured its 15th SUNYAC Championship in program history on Saturday afternoon, defeating New Paltz, 5-0, in the conference tournament final. The title was the Red Dragons' first since 2011 and the first under second-year head coach Tiffany Hubbard. With the win, Cortland punched its ticket to the NCAA Division III field hockey playoffs with the brackets announced on Sunday. The Red Dragons won their 12th consecutive game and improved to 17-3 on the season, while the Hawks finished the campaign at 7-12.

Sophomores Hannah Burchell (Whitney Point) and Amanda Glaser (Huntington/Walt Whitman) led the Cortland offense with two goals each. Junior Jess Gibaldi (Westbury/W.T. Clarke) added a goal, senior Anna Branch (Clifton Park/Shenendehowa) collected two assists and junior Jessica Welsh (Hamilton) chipped in with an assist.

(Left to right) Team Captains Anna Branch, Megan O'Brien, Meg Redmond

Junior goalie Kailynne Reinoehl (Lititz, PA/Warwick) made five saves for the Red Dragons in posting her eighth shutout of the season. Goalie Megan Gangwere stopped 16 shots for New Paltz.

Early in the first half New Paltz brought the pressure, forcing the Red Dragons defense to fight off a flurry of penalty corners, allowing just one shot on goal for the Hawks.

Following the defensive stand, the Cortland offense came alive. Burchell opened the scoring as she netted a shot from the top of the circle at 9:37 on an assist from Branch. The Red Dragons would continue the offensive attack late into the first half, scoring three more times before the break. Glaser scored an unassisted goal before Burchell added her second of the game.Gibaldi sent the Red Dragons into the half with a 4-0 lead, scoring her 16th goal of the season on another assist from Branch. Glaser added her second score of the game to cap off the 5-0 Cortland victory.

With the tournament win came several individual honors for Cortland. Branch and seniors Megan O'Brien (Carmel) and Meg Redmond (Accord/Rondout Valley) were all named to the all-tournament team, and Welsh was awarded the tournament MVP. Prior to the game Cortland junior Shannon McGuinness (Carle Place) and sophomore Sara Reardon (Little Falls) were named co-winners of the SUNYAC Elite 20 Award for academic and athletic excellence.

Cortland 5, New Paltz 0

Scoring Summary (Goals-Assists)

New Paltz: no scoring
Cortland: Hannah Burchell 2-0, Amanda Glaser 2-0, Jess Gibaldi 1-0, Anna Branch 0-2, Jessica Welsh 0-1

Halftime: Cortland 4, New Paltz 0
Shots: Cortland 21, New Paltz 5
Saves: Megan Gangwere (New Paltz) 16 saves (5 GA in 70:00); Kailynne Reinoehl (Cortland) 5 saves (0 GA in 70:00)

Record after game: New Paltz (Hawks) 7-12; Cortland (Red Dragons) 17-3 (ranked 20th nationally in Div. III))


Geneseo - #6 Julia Kim
Geneseo - #1 Morgan Maley
Oneonta - #33 Danell Jones
Oneonta - #6 Sierra Palmatier
New Paltz - #00 Megan Gangwere
New Paltz - #2 Justine O'Reilly
New Paltz - #5 Hayley Kim
Cortland - #12 Anna Branch
Cortland - #18 Megan O'Brien
Cortland - #14 Meg Redmond
MVP – Cortland - #2 Jessica Welsh