CORTLAND, N.Y. - From 1987 to 1999, the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) had terminated field hockey as a conference sport. Upon re-establishment, Cortland came back as strong as ever in their return to SUNYAC field hockey competition, winning a NCAA DIII National Championship just two seasons later. In 2001, head coach Cynthia Wetmore led the Red Dragons to a 19-2 record, as well as earning SUNYAC and NCAA Division III Coach of the Year honors for field hockey.
Cortland received a first round bye in the NCAA DIII National Tournament. In the second round, they defeated Plymouth State, 4-2, and shutout Rowan, 3-0 in the third round. The semifinals saw Cortland take on Skidmore College on their way to a 4-1 victory.
The 2001 NCAA Division III National Championship game was between Cortland and Messiah College. The game's lone goal was scored at the 16:41 mark in the first half by Cortland freshman, Ashley Ostrander, and the defensive battle in the second half sealed the game for the Red Dragons and gave them their third National Championship in program history. Since then, Cortland has won nine additional SUNAC titles under Wetmore and reached the 2003 NCAA DIII National Tournament semifinals.