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Abi Sawyer scores winner as LIU Post reaches field hockey title game

Adelphi Panthers forward Lena Pollich #17 and LIU

Adelphi Panthers forward Lena Pollich #17 and LIU Post midfielder Abi Sawyer #17 fight for the ball during the second half of an NCAA Division II quarterfinal game at Durrell "Bronko" Pearsall Field at Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Photo Credit: Brad Penner

Abi Sawyer isn't a scorer, nor does she ever fancy herself as one. She is a defensive midfielder for the LIU Post field hockey team, and the sophomore rarely attempts shots on goal. But with 10 minutes left in the NCAA Division II semifinal . . .

"I was wide open at the top of the circle," Sawyer said. "My eyes just lit up."

As did the scoreboard. Sawyer scored her first collegiate goal -- the winner -- with 9:44 remaining in a 3-2 victory over Stonehill on Thursday, sending Post to the national title game for a second straight season.

Lyn-Marie Wilson had a goal and an assist for the Pioneers (18-3), who face Millersville at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Louisville, Kentucky. Post lost in overtime of last year's final.

"This is an unbelievable feeling," said Sawyer, a native of England.

Stephanie Ruhle gave Post a 2-1 lead, but Lauren Giordano tied it for Stonehill (17-4) with 26 minutes left. Sawyer, from a step inside the arc, swept a shot that sailed in, just above the goalie's head.

"A national title is motivation enough," Post coach Raenee Savin said. "But the fact that we came so close last year and didn't get it, we can't let that happen again."

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