STANDISH, Maine -- The number four seeded Simmons University field hockey team was defeated by host number one seed Saint Joseph's College, 6-0, this evening in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament Semifinals at the SJC Athletics Complex in Standish, Maine. The Sharks finish their season at 7-12, while the Monks, who received votes in the most recent National Field Hockey Coaches Association national poll, win their 11th straight game and improve to 18-1.
Saint Joseph's advances to the Championship match for the fourth straight season on November 3, when they host second-seeded Lasell College, which defeated number three seed Colby-Sawyer College, 5-1, earlier in the day.
The Monks dominated possession with a 19-3 shooting advantage, including 12-2 in the second half, and owned a 14-2 penalty corner differential.
First year forward Emma Rutledge (Alfred, Maine) contributed to all three first half goals for Saint Joseph's with a pair of goals and an assist. She tallied the first two goals of the game on penalty corners as part of her first collegiate hat trick for the Monks. Junior midfielder Maddy Beaulieu (West Gardiner, Maine) found Rutledge 7:41 into the match for her first goal of the night. Rutledge gave Saint Joseph's a 2-0 lead six minutes later on a feed from senior back Arianna Kahler (Lisbon Falls, Maine). Rutledge connected with senior midfielder Kara Kelly (York, Maine) for the Monks' third marker and the seventh of the year for Kelly with 12:28 left in the opening period. The score remained the same for the remainder of the half as the home team took a 3-0 margin into the intermission.
Saint Joseph's followed its first half trend by scoring early in the second stanza when it took advantage of another penalty corner opportunity for a goal. Kahler recorded her second helper of the evening with a cross to sophomore midfielder Alexandra Belaire (Greene, Maine) for her 11th tally of the season coming just over six minutes into the half. The Monks tacked on their fifth marker midway through the period when senior midfielder Kayla Kelly (York, Maine) sent a centering cross from the right side to junior forward Libby Pomerleau (Limerick, Maine) for her league-leading 18th goal of the season with 18:19 left in the contest. Rutledge capped the scoring with her third goal coming on her fourth shot in a span of 31 seconds to increase the Saint Joseph's lead to 6-0 and give her 16 goals for the year.
Simmons received a shot each from sophomore midfielder Maggie Fuzak (Buffalo, N.Y.), first year forward Lilly Devitt (Belmont, Mass.) and a shot on cage from senior back Meghan Fontaine (Westminster, Mass.).
Sophomore goalie Lucy McNamara (Brewster, Mass.) recorded seven saves for the Sharks, while senior keeper Megan Baker (Gorham, Maine) stopped one shot to record her 29th career shutout in the win for the Monks.