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Sunday vs. Cornell Marks Senior Day for Field Hockey

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By Dartmouth
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Game 17: Dartmouth (9-7, 4-2 Ivy) vs. Cornell (7-9, 1-5 Ivy)
Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 - 12 p.m.
Chase AstroTurf Field - Hanover, N.H.
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SERIES RECORD: Dartmouth, 20-11-1
The two teams also met in last season's finale in Ithaca. Cornell took the win, 4-2, despite a huge game from then-junior goalkeeper Meaghan Vakiener (Port Murray, N.J.) who had 13 saves. The two teams have met in the season finale in each of the last eight seasons with Dartmouth last winning in 2005, taking a 3-2 victory.

HANOVER N.H. - Sunday afternoon will mark the final game of the 2011 regular season for the Dartmouth field hockey team. The Big Green will square off with Cornell in a noon matchup at Chase Field. After the game there will be a ceremony to honor the four members of this year's senior class playing in their final regular season home game in a Big Green uniform.

Sunday will mark the final game at Chase Field and in the Dartmouth careers of four players. Kerry Bracco (Hampton Falls, N.H.), Meghan Everett (Flemington, N.J.), Kelly Hood (Berlin, N.H.) and Meagan Vakiener (Port Murray, N.J.) will all be honored after the game for their dedication to the program over the course of their careers in Hanover.

Cornell is 7-9 overall and sits seventh in the Ivy League standings with a 1-5 conference mark. The Big Red fell to Princeton, 6-1, in their most recent game on Sunday afternoon. Despite an early 1-1 tie with one of the top teams in the league, Cornell couldn't hang with the Tigers down the stretch as Princeton scored five unanswered goals to take the win. Hannah Balleza leads the team in both goals (7) and points (18), while Brittany Thompson is second in scoring with 18 points and has a team-best six assists. The Big Red have used a two-goalie system most of the season with Carolyn Horner and Alex Botte. Botte has played a majority of the time, though, appearing in 13 games and posting a 5-8 record. She also has a goals-against average of 2.67 and a .717 save percentage in nearly 800 minutes of play in goal.

Dartmouth played a different type of game than what fans have been used to from the 2011 squad in its most recent game at Harvard last Saturday. The Big Green took down the Crimson, 1-0, despite dominating statistically in nearly ever facet of the game. Junior goalkeeper Jenna Stearns (Thornton, N.H.) earned her first career shutout in the process, stopping all four Harvard shots she faced in picking up her first win of the season. It was just the second shutout of the season for the Big Green.

Junior Maya Herm (Bethesda, Md.) scored her fourth goal of the season last Saturday in the one-goal win. Her tally 14:41 into the second half of play proved to be the winner and the lone goal scored in the contest. Herm's shot came after making her way to the goal from the left corner. Fellow junior Liz Blanken (Short Hills, N.J.) picked up her third assist of the season on the game winner.

Headed into the final day of the regular season, junior Lisa Masini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) is one of the top passers in not just the Ivy League, but the nation in 2011. Her 17 assists this year rank in the top 10 nationally, but her 1.06 per game are tops in the Ivy League and second in the nation.

Bracco is currently in her fifth year at Dartmouth after missing what would have been her junior season in 2009 due to an injury. One of the more solid and dependable players on the backend for the Big Green, she has started in all but two of her 62 career games. During the 2010 season, she finally got on the score sheet as she finished with two goals and one assist with her first-career goal coming against in-state rival UNH on Oct. 6. A co-captain on this year's team, Bracco provides veteran leadership and stability to her younger teammates both on and off the field.

A two-sport athlete at Dartmouth as a member of both the field hockey and softball teams, Everett has proven to be a valuable asset to the Big Green. This season, the senior forward has contributed with some timely goals as she is tied for the Ivy League lead with three game winners in 2011. Her seven goals this season rank third on the team and tie her career high set as a sophomore in 2009. She has also tied her career high of 15 points entering Sunday's game. After an injury shortened her 2010 campaign to just seven games, Everett has come back strong this season, playing in all 16 contests for Dartmouth.

Kelly Hood might go down as the top player in program history as she enters her final game in a Big Green uniform the all-time leader in goals (58) and points (134). An All-American her junior year, Hood set new program single-season marks in goals (18) and points (42), while appearing in just 13 games due to injury. The owner of six program scoring records, Hood also serves as a co-captain on this year's team, leading her teammates by example on the field with her strong work ethic. Hood has been the team's top point producer in each of her first three seasons and has an eight-point gap headed into Sunday over second-place Ali Savage (Orange, New Wales South, Australia). This season, she ranks amongst the top players in the Ivy League with 14 goals and 33 points and was been named the Player of the Week by the League office in just the second week of play, while also garnering the Union Leader's Athlete of the Month honor for September.

Only three other players in program history have played more minutes in goal than Vakiener's 4,127. Her 25 career wins also rank fourth in program history as she has been a four-year starter in her time in a Dartmouth uniform. A solid veteran, Vakiener has been called upon by head coach Amy Fowler to start in goal for her team 62 times in her four seasons and her 399 career saves rank fourth amongt active Division I goalkeepers. In 2011, Vakiener has posted eight wins and opened the season with a 5-0 shutout of Sacred Heart, while allowing the fewest goals of her career (34). Her current 2.71 goals-against average is a new career high and demonstrates her growth as a goalkeeper over the course of her time in Hanover.