The Cabrini Cavaliers field hockey team won the Atlantic East Conference championship for the second year in a row following a 3-0 win over St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
The victory took place on Saturday, Nov. 5. Earlier in the regular season, the Cavs lost to the Seahawks 1-0. This victory would add the sixth AEC title in Cabrini’s history. It also sent the Cavs to the NCAA tournament for the fifth time and the first time since 2016.
Journey to the top
Building up to the championship game, the Cavs had a great season with a 13-4 record. A big win over 11th-ranked College Of New Jersey had Cabrini ranked within the top 25 during the season at one point.
The Cavs’ conference play started with a quarterfinal round bye. They continued to face third seeded Marywood University at Edith Robb Dixon. Cabrini won this game 3-1 with a huge performance by sophomore midfielder Adrianna Jones, who scored two goals in less than two minutes in the fourth quarter. The strong performance pushed the Cavs past Marywood and onto the championship game.
With contributions also coming from junior midfielder, Caroline Gallagher, and strong goalkeeper play from sophomore Courtney Keith, the Cavs made their second straight conference finals appearance. (In 2021, they beat St. Mary’s in overtime to add their fifth conference title to the program’s history.)
After their domination of Marywood, the Cavs were ready to take on number one seeded St. Mary’s of Maryland. “Going into the game, my team and I were confident but not cocky. We wanted to win, and we knew that to win we needed to work together and play hard the whole game,” Gallagher said.
Coming into this matchup, the Cavaliers had never scored more than two goals in any of their contests against the Seahawks. The Seahawks are well known for their defensive play, but the Cavaliers were able to combat that with not only phenomenal offensive play, but also with team defense.
Offense leads to defense
Cabrini held the Seahawks scoreless for just the second time all season. Gallagher notched three points that included two goals. The other goal was scored at 5:07 by freshman forward Maggie Cella off the assist from Gallagher in the sixth minute. All points were scored in the first half by the Cavs.
From this point forward, it was up to the defense to hold the Seahawks to capture the win. The defensive unit did even better than they had to, forcing a shutout.
“Although we did not score in the second half, the defense played their part and held them for the rest of the game,” Sara Hussey, junior defender, said. The defensive unit was led by senior defender Maura Tumelty; she went on to win MVP of the championship game with her stellar performance.
This victory over St. Mary’s of Maryland was much different than the team’s 2021 conference championship victory. “Last year we won in double overtime with 47 seconds remaining in a sudden death,” Hussey said. The Cavs were able to dominate on both sides of the field by taking advantage of teamwork and chemistry they had built leading up to this game.
Teamwork and chemistry were the driving forces that led to the Cavaliers’ successful championship season. Composure on the defensive side of the field ultimately led to a team triumph and their sixth conference title.