NO. 14 KEAN vs NO. 4 JOHNS HOPKINS | 12 PM ET | NCAA
Last year’s runner-up No. 4 Johns Hopkins will take on No. 14 Kean — who has registered back-to-back upsets — in the NCAA Semifinals on Friday.
Kean has been on a Cinderella run this postseason, advancing to the semifinals for the first time in program history. The 14-5 Cougars began their NCAA Tournament dance with a 4-2 win over St. Mary’s in the opening round, then became the first team this season to defeat 17-0 and No. 3 Christopher Newport. Three-time NJAC Goalkeeper of the Year Jenna Flemings tallied a career high 17 saves – including a penalty stroke in overtime – in the victory.
A follow-up upset came from Kean in the quarterfinals when the Cougars defeated No. 11 Lynchburg, 2-1. It was another banner performance by Flemings, who made 11 saves, allowing Kean to outlast a Lynchburg offense that outshot them 34-12. The Cougars made the most out of the shots they did get off – Peyton Mann tipped in a goal off the post just a minute into the second half to tie the score at 1-1. Ten minutes later on a penalty corner, Mann fed the ball to Laura Stump, who sent the ball into the net for the game-winner.
Now 20-1 on the season with an 18 game win streak, Johns Hopkins will appear in the NCAA semifinals for the fifth consecutive year. The fourth ranked Blue Jays started off the NCAA Tournament with a bye in the first round after being selected as a host site. They took on No. 24 Ithaca in the second round, defeating the Bombers by a 3-1 margin with goals from Gen Mehra, Siena Urbanski, and Zoey Bennett. Johns Hopkins found themselves in a tighter match-up in the quarterfinals against No. 6 Salisbury. Senior Mikayla Schoff found the back of the net in the 38th minute off of a penalty corner strike, and the powerful Blue Jays’ defense kept the Sea Gulls’ offense at bay to retain the lead. Senior goalkeeper Alexis Loder came up with four big saves to help lead her team to another Semifinal appearance.
The Blue Jays and Cougars have only matched up twice before, in 2004 and 2011. In their most recent meeting, Johns Hopkins evened out the record with a 6-3 win.
The winner of this contest will move on to the NCAA Championship, where they will play the winner of Babson versus Middlebury.
BABSON vs MIDDLEBURY | 3 PM ET | NCAA
No. 2 Babson will take on reigning champion, No. 1 Middlbury, in the NCAA Semifinals on Friday at 3 p.m. ET.
In Middlebury’s past 20 matches – their entire perfect 2023 campaign – only one team has found themselves within one goal when the final whistle blows: Babson. It was still early in the season, September 17, when the Beavers scored first on Peter Kohn Field. Just two minutes after Jackie Hill had tallied, Katie George opened up what would be three unanswered goals for Middlebury. Babson’s Andrea Marguerite scored in the final five minutes, making it a 3-2 loss. Junior goalkeeper Bayla Furmanek registered her career high 13 saves.
In Babson’s 22-1 season, only one team has defeated them: Middlebury. The Beavers have beaten every other team they’ve come up against so far this season, including No. 7 Bates and No. 10 Tufts — both in the regular season and in the NCAA Tournament. After their First Round bye, Babson had a narrow 1-0 overtime win against the Wildcats in the Second Round, and shutout the Jumbos, 1-0, to punch their ticket to the Semifinals. A goal from junior Jessica Evans in the third quarter sealed the deal for the Beavers, who limited their opponent to just a single shot on goal.
Also with a first-round bye, Middlebury has cruised through their tournament opponents. After a big 7-0 victory over William Smith, the Panthers took down site host No. 5 Messiah by a comfortable 3-0 scoreline. The Middlebury defense made it easy work for goalkeeper KK Newton, who did not need to make a single save, while Audrey Lazar tacked on two additional goals to George’s game-winner in the sixth minute. NFHCA First Team All-Americans Amy Griffin and George currently lead the Panther offense with 54 and 49 points, respectively.
After the fall of Christopher Newport in the second round, Middlebury remains the only unbeaten team across all divisions of NCAA field hockey. The Panthers are on the hunt for their sixth consecutive NCAA Championship title.
In the duo’s 11 total meetings, Middlebury holds a 10-1 advantage. The Beavers lone win was back in 2017.