The SUNY Cortland field hockey team will play in its 28th NCAA Division III tournament, and its first since 2011, when the Red Dragons host Keene State College (N.H.) in a first-round contest on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Game time is 2 p.m.
Cortland (17-3) earned an NCAA automatic berth by winning the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) championship with a 5-0 win versus New Paltz this past Saturday. Keene State (14-8) punched its fifth straight NCAA ticket after defeating Westfield State, 9-0, to win the Little East Conference title.
The winner will advance to face The College of New Jersey (15-3) in the second round on Saturday, Nov. 11, as part of a four-team regional hosted by TCNJ in Ewing, N.J. MIT (16-2) will take on the winner of a first-round matchup between Centre (Ky.) (15-4) and Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) (13-4) in Saturday's other second-round game.
Cortland, led by second-year head coach Tiffany Hubbard, enters NCAA play with a 12-game winning streak - its longest since the Red Dragons won their first 19 games before losing in the national quarterfinals in 2009.
Cortland won national titles in 1993, 1994 and 2001 and finished second in 1997. The Red Dragons tied for third in 1999 and 2003, placed third in both 1989 and 1996 and were fourth in 1988.
Jess Gibaldi (Westbury/W.T. Clarke) leads Cortland with 16 goals in 20 starts this fall. Hannah Burchell (Whitney Point) has scored 14 times, Jessica Welsh (Hamilton) has registered 13 goals and nine assists, and Anna Branch (Clifton Park/Shenendehowa) has tallied nine goals and leads the team with 14 assists. Meg Redmond (Accord/Rondout Valley) leads Cortland with five defensive saves, and goalie Kailynne Reinoehl (Lititz, PA/Warwick) has posted a 0.73 GAA and a .883 save percentage with eight solo shutouts in 20 appearances. Cortland has not allowed a goal in its last five contests.
Tickets for Wednesday's game are $5 for adults and $3 for students with ID and senior citizens.