Iowa Hawkeyes 2006 Big Ten Tournament Champions
Nov. 5, 2006
ANN ARBOR, (MI)-Behind the consistent play of midfielder Lauren Pfeiffer the Iowa Hawkeyes claimed the Big Ten Tournament title defeating Penn State 2-1 in Sunday's championship game in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
With just 18:21 into the game, Pfeiffer drilled in her second goal of the game and fifth goal on the weekend on a 7-yard penalty stroke to put the Hawkeyes up 2-0 in the first half.
Pfeiffer put the Hawkeyes on the board first five minutes earlier when Iowa executed on a corner assisted by both Heather Schnepf and Kadi Sickel.
Down 2-0, the Lions seemed to come to life, bearing down and persistently attacking the Iowa defense. Finally, with 7:42 left in the first half Penn State capitalized on its own penalty stroke by Mallory Weisen to claw its way back 2-1. It was Weisen's second goal of the tournament.
The score stood at halftime but it was apparent the Lions had turned up the heat overpowering the Hawkeyes in shots 10-5 and leading a 5-2 corner battle.
However, for a Hawkeye team that ranked last in goals scored on the season it was more quality than quantity holding the Lions the rest of the way. Named the Big Ten Tournament's Most Valuable Player, Pfieffer shot seven times and was the only Hawkeye to record a shot on goal, shooting three and scoring twice. Leading Big Ten scorer Shaun Banta took four shots (one on goal) but could not find the back of the net. As a team, PSU came into the tournament allowing the fewest number of goals but they struggled to stop a determined Iowa attack.
Senior back Heather Schnepf joined Pfieffer on the Big Ten All-Tournament team.
With the win, the Hawkeyes received an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament with first round action beginning Nov. 11. Penn State ended their season 15-5 however their sixth place ranking in the STX/NFHCA Coaches Poll may be enough to claim an at-large bid.
CSTV will broadcast the championship game on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 5:30 p.m. ET.