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  The Digital Collegian - Published independently by students at Penn State
[ Monday, Nov. 8, 1999 ]

Wolverines overthrow F. Hockey

Collegian Staff Writer

In the two previous Big Ten Field Hockey Tournaments, Michigan found its path to the conference title blocked in the final by the team from Penn State.

On Saturday, in the semifinals of that same tournament, Michigan exorcised its ghosts of the past and finally had its revenge.

Wolverines back Ashley Reichenbach converted a penalty stroke in double overtime to give the Wolverines a 2-1 victory against the Lady Lions. The next day, Michigan defeated Iowa 2-1 to win its first-ever Big Ten title.

The semifinal loss ended the Lions' quest for a fifth straight conference title and their six-game winning streak against the Wolverines. Before last weekend, Michigan last defeated Penn State by the same score on Oct. 24, 1997.

"That was as good as a Big Ten Tournament game as you will ever see," Penn State coach Char Morett said in a press release. "I give a lot of credit to all of the kids who played in the game today. There wasn't one kid who didn't give 100 percent effort. It was great for the fans to see."

The outcome was a big difference from a week ago, the last time these two teams played. Back on Oct. 29 in Ann Arbor, Penn State scored the first four goals of the game en-route to a 4-2 victory, giving the Lions a first-round bye in the tournament.

But on Saturday, Wolverines goalkeeper Katie Oakes turned in a much-improved performance, denying the Lions all but once while making four saves.

The game was a defensive struggle from the start, with the teams deadlocked in a scoreless battle at halftime.

Michigan struck first, getting on the scoreboard less than a minute into the second half when Wolverines forward Kelli Gannon took a pass from Catherine Foreman and snaked the ball past Lions redshirt freshman goalkeeper Heidi Leuchte, who finished with five saves.

It looked as if Gannon's goal might be enough until Lions junior Maegan Galie tied the game on an unassisted goal with 11:18 remaining in regulation.

Both teams traded opportunities for the next 28 minutes, but could not get the ball past the opposing goalkeeper. Two and a half minutes into the second overtime, Michigan was awarded a penalty stroke.

That set up Reichenbach's winning goal.

"It feels awesome," Reichenbach said in a press release. "This is the best game I've ever played in, in any form of sport. It was tooth and nail."

Michigan got to the semifinal by way of a 4-2 win against Northwestern in the first round. In the other first-round matchup, Ohio State forward Kimberley Reedy scored in overtime to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 win against Michigan State. Played on Saturday before the Penn State-Michigan contest, Iowa shut out Ohio State, 3-0, to advance to the conference final.

Next up for Penn State is the NCAA Tournament . . . maybe. The Lions will find out sometime in the middle of the week if they will be invited to the tournament.

Field hockey

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Copyright © 2000 Collegian Inc.
Updated 1999-11-8  0:43:02   -4
Requested 2000-8-17  5:53:09   -4

URL: http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/1999/11/11-08-99tdc/11-08-99dsports-6.asp