Iowa Defeats Michigan State 1-0 in Overtime; Advances to Sunday's Tournament Final versus Michigan
Nov. 6, 2004
EVANSTON, IL - Two of the three tri-champions from the Big Ten regular season were featured in the second semifinal of the 2004 Big Ten Conference Field Hockey Tournament. Number two seeded Iowa squared off with the number three seed Michigan State here on Saturday (Nov. 6).
After a regular season meeting that was won by the Spartans 2-1 in overtime, the two teams picked up where they left off - with a physical, defensive, nail-biting contest that needed extra time to determine a winner. In the end, the Hawkeyes were able to get their revenge for their regular season loss to the Spartans with a 1-0 overtime victory.
The victory is Iowa's 13th of the season against only six losses and advances them to the tournament final Sunday (Nov. 7) against top seeded Michigan at the Leonard B. Thomas Sports Complex. Earlier in the day, the Wolverines defeated Ohio State 5-0 to earn a berth in Sunday's finale. Michigan State drops to 16-3 with all three losses coming in overtime. The Spartans - ranked fifth in the country - will now hope to receive an at-large bid in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Both teams appeared evenly matched early on in the semifinal bout. The Spartans appeared to strike first with a goal just after the first five minutes of the game had passed, but the score was whistled off because the shot was taken outside the circle. Iowa had a scoring opportunity shortly thereafter when senior forward Margot McMahon took aim at the Michigan State net 13:20 into the first half. Junior goalkeeper and Big Ten All-Conference second team honoree Christina Kirkaldy made a diving save to keep the match scoreless.
A penalty corner gave Michigan State the next scoring opportunity of the game 15 minutes in. Unanimous Big Ten All-Conference first team selection Veerle Goudswaard received the pass in and fired a shot at Iowa senior goalkeeper Barb Weinberg. The Big Ten All-Conference first team goalie stayed poised and stopped Goudswaard from scoring her 28th goal of the season.
Strong defense continued to be shown by both teams throughout the remainder of the first half. Iowa held a slight edge in shots with four compared to the Spartans two, but none of those looks were able to produce a first half goal. The match would begin the second half in a scoreless tie.
As the second half began both squads were in search of scoring chances. The Spartans first opportunity came with about 10 minutes expired in the second half. Freshman forward Kathryn Elenz-Martin made a centering pass toward sophomore Ashley Pernicano, but the sophomore was unable to get a shot off towards the wide open net to get the Spartans on the board. An additional opportunity by MSU was thwarted by Weinberg with a glove save sending the ball soaring over the goal.
A penalty corner 18 minutes into the second half set-up Goudswaard for a shot which was blocked by Weinberg for her sixth save of the match. Iowa countered with a shot off a penalty corner by midfielder and all-conference second team member Heather Schnepf at 20:50, which a laid-out Kirkaldy blocked.
A Spartan timeout with 12:56 remaining in regulation would set up a sprint to the finish to see which team would advance and which would go home. At that point in the match Iowa had six saves to MSU's four, while shots were nine-to-seven in favor of Michigan State.
Michigan State appeared to score the first points of the game 27 minutes into the second half, but that goal was disallowed when the umpires ruled a penalty corner - which the Spartans consequently missed - before the shot was taken. With the clock winding down, MSU was given two penalty corners in a row; however, both shots were saved off the glove of Weinberg to keep the game scoreless.
Thirty-five minutes into the match, MSU received their 10th penalty corner of the match but Weinberg came up big once again for the Hawkeyes with a sprawling save. The match now advanced to sudden-death overtime with a chance to play for the Big Ten tournament title on the line. For the record; Iowa was 3-2 in overtime matches in the regular season while Michigan State was 1-2 in games decided in bonus action.
It took only 4:23 for the game to be decided in the extra stanza. An Iowa penalty corner put Heather Schnepf in position to set-up freshman midfielder Caroline Blaum who beat Kirkaldy at close range to score the game-winner and send the Hawkeyes onto the field in celebration.
Sunday's contest between Iowa and Michigan is a rematch of the 1999 tournament final which was won by the Wolverines 2-1. In the regular season, U-M defeated the Hawkeyes 4-3 in overtime. Game time for Sunday is set for 1:00 pm CST and will be televised on CSTV on tape delay.