In what has been an exhilarating fall sports season so far for the Stonehill Skyhawks, three teams will look to continue their playoff runs in Louisville, Kentucky in the Division II National Championship Festival on the campus of Bellarmine University this week.
The fifth ranked field hockey and men's and women's cross-country teams will take flight later this week, with the sight of national championships within their grasps.
On Thursday at 1 p.m., the field hockey team will take to the field in a national semifinal matchup against Northeast-10 rival and undefeated number one ranked UMASS-Lowell.
Leading the way for Stonehill will be junior Kathryn Nelson (pictured above), who has racked up 41 points on the season, including 19 goals, both team-highs.
A Northeast-10 team will be guaranteed a spot in the national championship game as the winner of the Stonehill/UMASS-Lowell matchup will take on the Bloomsburg/Shippensburg winner for the title Saturday afternoon.
The cross country teams will have to wait until championship Saturday to stretch their wings in Louisville as the men's cross country championship will begin at 11 a.m., followed by the women's at 12 noon. Both races will take place in "Tom" Sawyer State Park.
The 20th ranked men's team has finished second in its last three races (Kutztown University Division II Challenge, NE-10 Championships, NCAA East Regional) and will look to improve its status one more place to claim the national title.
Seniors Patrick Fullerton (pictured above) and Daniel Pilz as well as junior Stephen Polito each placed in the top ten at the NE-10 Championships and NCAA East Regional, bolstering the team in their cumulative efforts.
Reaching the NCAA's is no small feat, but it has become commonplace for the men's cross country team, as this marks its eighth straight trip to the national championship.
Not to be outdone, the Skyhawk women are on a streak of their own, having won their last two races, and, in doing so, capturing their second straight NE-10 and NCAA East Regional titles.
Juniors Kristen Mahoney (pictured left) and Jill Alves continued their strong season in the last two races, both finishing in the top ten in each race.
Like their male counterparts, the women have made a habit of reaching the national championship as they make their 12th consecutive trip to the national championship.
For more information on all three Skyhawk teams, including more details on the NCAA Division II Fall Festival, visit www.stonehillskyhawks.com.
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.