Hartford, Conn. – The first-ever NCAA Tournament field hockey game to be played on the Trinity College campus was a wild one, as sophomore Alison Slowe (Medfield, Mass.) scored a career-high four times and junior forward Kelcie Finn (Weymouth, Mass.) set a school record with five assists in the Bantams' 7-5 victory over the visiting Cabrini University Cavaliers in the opening round of the Division III tourney. Trinity, ranked No. 9 in the nation, improves to 13-4 and advances to the NCAA Second Round against No. 6-ranked Ursinus on Saturday, November 12 at Salisbury University. The winner of Saturday's game will play either No. 2-ranked Salisbury or Kenyon on Sunday in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Cabrini closes the year at 12-8.
Cabrini set the tone for the high-scoring affair with a goal 1:26 into the game when junior midfielder Jackie Neary (Logan, N.J.) sent a pass in front of the cage from deep in the right corner and classmate Alex Swallow (Sterling, N.J.) one-timed it past Bantam goalie Lori Berger (Scottsdale, Ariz.) to give the Cavaliers their only lead. Cabrini maintained its advantage for over 12 minutes, before Trinity senior tri-captain Sydney Doolittle (Milford, Conn.) scored on a rebound after an initial shot by first-year midfielder Nicole Quinlan (Duxbury, Mass.) was turned away on a defensive save by Cavalier junior Sara Devita (Haskell, N.J.) with 20:20 left in the first half.
Finn fed Slowe for the first of four scoring connections between the two 1:35 later to give Trinity its first lead, but senior defender Kylie McDevitt (Narbeth, Pa.) scored on a rebound off a deflection by Quinlan of her own shot to tie it midway through the first stanza. The teams traded goals late in the first half, as Trinity sophomore forward Chandler Solimine (Pelham, N.Y.) scored from Finn on a penalty corner and McDevitt converted a penalty stroke after a Bantam had blocked a shot with her foot behind Berger.
After the Cavaliers nearly took their second lead when Berger came way out to fend off a breakaway chance for Cabrini senior forward Taylor Mack (Philadelphia, Pa.) four minutes after the break, Trinity jumped ahead, 5-3, thanks to consecutive goals from Finn to Slowe off penalty corners. On the clincher, Finn sent a pass in front of the goal from left to right and Slowe quickly shot past Cavalier junior goalkeeper Taylor Bookman (Philadelphia, Pa.) with 28:35 remaining. Finn blasted a shot from the top of the circle on one of 15 Bantam penalty corners that Slowe redirected past Bookman for the next goal with 18:01 left to play.
Mack scored from freshman midfielder Katie Kucia (Malvern, Pa.) at the 16:43 mark to make it a one-goal game at 5-4, and Bookman denied Solimine one-on-one moments later to keep it there. Finn found Slowe one last time for her record-breaking feed with 10:02 on the clock, and scored a goal from rookie midfielder Olivia Hoyda (Darien, Conn.) to break her own school record for single-season scoring with 65 points this fall. Mack assisted McDevitt on a Cabrini tally in the final minute to round out the scoring.
Trinity finished with a 30-to-8 shooting edge and its 15 penalty corners were one shy of double the Cabrini total of eight. Finn finished with six points on a goal and five assists, while McDevitt had a hat trick for the Cavaliers. Berger needed to make just a single save, while Bookman registered 15 stops for Cabrini.
"If you had told me earlier today that Cabrini would score five goals and we would win I would have thought you were crazy," said Trinity Head Coach Anne Parmenter. "But that's what happened and we're moving on."