BIDDEFORD, Maine -- Jillian Lachapelle struck three times and Julia Steeves (CCC 1st Team) notched the other two as No.2 University of New England breezed by third-seeded Salve Regina University, 5-2, in the semifinals of the 2019 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Field Hockey Championship on Thursday evening (Nov. 7) at a rain-soaked UNE Blue Bolt Field.
The Nor'easters (12-9) advance into their seventh straight league final and will travel to No.1 Endicott College (a 4-0 winner over Roger Williams University) on Saturday at 1 p.m. It will be the sixth time in the last nine years that the teams are meeting to decide the tournament crown.
UNE controlled play from the opening whistle and got a lead just 1:33 into the match, when Kendra MacDonald (CCC 1st Team) found Steeves for a tally. Lachapelle began her big night in the 20th minute, sweeping home a rebound, and then finished a 39th-minute penalty stroke to make it 3-0 after three quarters. The Nor'easters had registered all of the game's 21 shots and 11 corners through 45 minutes.
Lachapelle extended the cushion to 4-0 in the 49th minute with another put-back. It was the team-leading 14th marker of the season for the sophomore, and completed a second hat trick.
Vanessa Frost (CCC 2nd Team) scored off a pass from Kristen Wales (CCC 2nd Team) in the 51st minute to get the Seahawks (12-7) on the board, and, after Steeves tapped in a rebound in the 53rd minute, Tori Bickel found Eliza Timms (CCC 2nd Team) on the doorstep to post Salve's last goal in the 55th minute.
Liz Sargent (CCC 1st Team) ended with four saves for the Nor'easters, who amassed a 33-7 margin in shot attempts. On the opposite side for the Seahawks, Casey Febus recorded 22 stops, while both Kate Foley and Kailyn McCue contributed defensive saves.
Saturday's championship game against Endicott will be the third contest this season. The Gulls claimed both regular-season outings over UNE -- 2-1 in overtime on October 2, and 2-0 on October 22.