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Bell ties SAA record as Colonels advance to conference championship

Bell ties SAA record as Colonels advance to conference championship

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Since the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) began sponsoring field hockey in 2012, only two teams have every met in the conference championship: Centre and Rhodes. This year is no different, as the two-seed Colonels blew past six-seed Ferrum, 5-1, in Saturday's semifinal match at Mason Field to reach Sunday's title bout.

The host Lynx defeated Sewanee, 4-0, in the opposite semifinal to tee up the sixth consecutive Centre-Rhodes showdown, which is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. The Colonels improved to 14-4 with the victory over Ferrum, while the Panthers finish their season 5-14.

Senior Brooklyn Bell (Louisville, Ky.) reached a milestone with another multi-goal performance. She scored twice to give her 19 for the season, tying the SAA single-season record for goals shared by three others – including teammate Hayley Barker (2016) and former Colonel Chelsea Klein (2013).

Saturday's game followed a near-identical script to Centre's 5-1 quarterfinal win over Hendrix Friday afternoon, as the Colonels scored early and never looked back.

Bell (Louisville, Ky.) found the back of the net in the fourth minute, and junior Emily Schank (Louisville, Ky.) doubled the lead roughly 20 minutes later off of Mary Andrews' (St. Louis, Mo.) assist.

Leading 2-0 at the half, Centre continued to overwhelm Ferrum in the second period.

Schank netted her second goal just a minute into the frame, as Bell picked up the assist.

Sophomore Erika Bell (Louisville, Ky.) made it 4-0 Colonels in the 51st minute on a Hayley Barker (Louisville, Ky.) assist.

Ferrum's Sierra Magdaleno scored in the 63rd minute, but just as they had when Hendrix scored Friday, the Colonels wasted no time answering. The elder Bell scored the following minute off of Sarah Biggs' (Louisville, Ky.) helper.

As they did against the Warriors, the Colonels dominated the score box against the Panthers.  They had more shots (37 to 5), shots on goal (19 to 4) and penalty corners (11 to 2).

Sunday's championship match begins at 2 p.m. ET. Rhodes has won four of the five SAA Championship games played between the two squads.