Lexington, Ky. – For the first time in program history, the Transylvania field hockey team is set to host the Southern Athletic Association Field Hockey conference tournament.
All four games of the 2019 edition of the tournament, which begins on Friday, November 8, will be played at Pat Deacon Stadium, culminating in the SAA Tournament Championship match on Sunday, November 10 at 1:00 p.m.
Transylvania completed its regular-season run through the SAA this past Sunday with a 6-1 loss on the road to Concordia Wisconsin. With the loss, the Pioneers fell to 1-3 in SAA play, slotting Transylvania into a three-way tie for third place in the conference standings with Concordia Wisconsin and Sewanee; the tiebreaker slots the Pioneers as the No. 4 seed in the five-team conference tournament.
The Pioneers will face No. 5 seed Sewanee (3-12, 1-3 SAA) in Friday's 1:00 p.m. Eastern time SAA quarterfinal match, with the winner advancing to face No. 1 seed Centre College (16-0, 4-0 SAA) on Saturday.
The SAA Tournament wraps up on Sunday with the championship match; the winner will secure the conference's automatic qualifying bid and earn a berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Transylvania and Sewanee have faced off twice this season already with the Pioneers taking a 4-3 overtime victory in the conference matchup on October 12, before the Tigers claimed a 6-3 win in the October 13 meeting between the two sides in a nonconference-marked match.
Leading the Pioneers into the postseason are junior Lilly Kramer (Crestwood, Ky. / Mercy Academy) and senior Harper Zeitz (Louisville, Ky. / Eastern), who have each scored six goals this season. Zeitz also leads the Pioneers with four assists on the year. The senior tallied a career-high three assists in Transylvania's 5-0 victory over Oberlin on September 8.
Defensively, the Pioneers are led by senior sweeper Ellie Domato (Louisville, Ky. / Kentucky Country Day), who has tallied an SAA-leading seven defensive saves this season. Domato recorded a season-high two defensives saves in the Pioneers' 2-1 loss to Earlham on October 6.
Transylvania goalkeeper Sidney Varney will look to anchor the Pioneers' defense this weekend and continue to build upon her stellar sophomore season. Varney compiled an SAA-leading 95 saves this year and ranks second in the conference with 871 minutes played in goal. Varney collected double-digit saves four times this season, including a career-high 14 saves against both Bridgewater (Va.) and Roanoke on September 21 and 22.
Tickets for this weekend's SAA Tournament matches are $6 for adults, $4 for children ages 5-17, and free for SAA students with their university ID cards, faculty, and staff members of SAA institutions, as well as children under the age of 5.
Live stats and video links will be provided through the SAA Tournament website via the link above and are also accessible on the Transy Sports website.
For more on Transylvania field hockey, follow @TransyFH on Twitter