Ohio State Wins 2004 Big Ten Women's Soccer Tournament
Nov. 7, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Lara Dickenmann scored two second half goals to lead Ohio State to a 2-0 victory over Penn State in the Championship Game of the 2004 Big Ten Women's Soccer Tournament. With the win, Ohio State won its second Big Ten Tournament title in three years and earns the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
The first half of the 2004 Big Ten Women's Soccer Tournament was as even as you would expect from a match up pitting the No.1 seed versus the No. 2. The first five minutes of play rarely left the center circle with each team exchanging turnovers around the gray block "O" at midfield.
After five minutes Penn State began making a few runs into the offensive zone. Perhaps Penn State's best scoring chance was its first. In the 10th minute, Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Tiffany Weimer chased down a ball running down the right side. She used her speed to collect it, but she stopped and pulled back negating a one step advantage and an open path to the goal she had earned. The next substantial rush came on the opposite side of the field as Ohio State's Big Ten Freshman of the Year Lara Dickenmann maneuvered around four Penn State defenders and placed an incredible ball to the foot of junior Danielle Dietrich. With no one between the ball and the net when PSU goalie Erin McLeod went to play Dickenmann's rush, Dietrich pushed the ball just outside the right side of the goal failing to capitalize on Dickenmann's beautiful pass.
Despite missing a golden opportunity, Ohio State used that chance to steal Penn State's growing momentum. Less than two minutes later, Dickenmann again came up from her midfield position to lead an offensive attack. With a full head of steam, the freshman used a handful of moves to elude all of Penn State's defenders until senior Stephanie Pezzullo stepped into her path and the two collided violently as Dickenmann released her shot, the collision caused the ball to drift aimlessly to the right of the goal.
The chances continued to come in Penn State's defensive end. Pezzullo again broke up a Dickenmann opportunity as she executed a clean open field tackle in the 18th minute. After the first 20 minutes both teams looked to have settled down and began to exchange offensive opportunities. In the 35th minute, Penn State again created a nice opportunity. Sophomore defender Holly Lincoln centered the ball to freshman Denay Riley who had a slight opening on the left side of the net as Buckeye goalie Emily Haynam moved across the opening. Riley lined up the shot and fired it just over the top left corner of the box. The even play continued as time ran down on the first half as the teams exchanged eight straight midfield-turnovers with two and a half minutes in the first period.
The first 45 minutes ended just as they began, with zeros on the scoreboard for both teams. Weimer was held to only a single shot and none on goal in the first half.
The scoreless tie lasted only three minutes into the second period of play when Ohio State junior midfielder Colleen Hoban collected a centering pass from senior Elizabeth Mumley and fired it towards net. McLeod made the initial save, but punched it to the feet of Dickenmann, who gathered the ball and lined up the shot unaccosted and buried the ball in the back of the net to earn the game's first score. The goal tied Dickenmann with teammate Lisa Grubb for the school's single season goal record of 11, which Grubb set on Friday.
After the initial tally, Ohio State continued to pour on the opportunities. In the 61st minute Lisa Grubb slide to an oncoming deflection at the center of the 18-yard box which sped through the penalty area before McLeod collected it. Penn State countered by pushing the action into Ohio State's defensive end. After the ball went off an Ohio State defender, Penn State junior Carmelina Moscato took a corner kick which sophomore Jean Rettig trapped and fired towards the net. Pezzullo dove to meet the ball, but it hit awkwardly off her forehead and Haynam stumbled over top of her, but finally pulled it in.
With less than 16 minutes remaining, Penn State's comeback hopes took a huge hit as senior captain Lindsay Bach was the recipient of the games only card, when she took a streaking Grubb down from behind. Bach earned a red card which meant that the Nittany Lions would have to play the remaining minutes down a player. The Buckeyes took advantage in the 84th minute when Dickenmann received a pass from junior Danielle Dietrich on the right side and put it past McLeod from 15 yards out. Despite a few late opportunities, Penn State was unable to get on the board, Weimer could not shake the Buckeye defenders and was kept out of the shot category in the second half.
The Buckeyes moved their season record to 17-3-3 and 12-0-1 in the friendly confines of Jesse Owens Stadium. The loss was Penn State's first loss since a 2-1 defeat to Washington on August 27th. That moves the Nittany Lions season mark to 18-2-1. The story of the game was in the shot department. Ohio State recorded 13 shots, with seven on net, while Penn State could must only five shots, while only three made it to Haynam. The shutout ends Weimer's 13 game goal scoring streak. Penn State and the rest of the Big Ten teams will half to wait to learn the remainder of their postseason fate until the NCAA announces its 64-team tournament field on Monday at 4:30 p.m. ET.