MUNCIE, Ind. (Nov. 6) - Second-seeded Kent scored five unanswered
goals in the final 18:30 of the game to register a 7-4 upset victory
over top-seeded Ball State in the championship of the Mid-American
Conference Tournament in Muncie.
This marked the
second-straight year that the 17th-ranked Flashes upset Ball State,
ranked 13th, in the MAC Tournament final.
After trading the first four goals, Ball State built a 4-2
lead after senior Sally Northcroft, the MAC's Player of the Year in
1999 and in 1998, converted a penalty stroke with 23:29 remaining in
the game. Kent's Inge Corten, the 1999 MAC Freshman of the Year,
began the scoring barrage exactly five minutes later with the first of
her two goals - an unassisted shot.
Six minutes later, Lisette Haars
scored her second goal of the contest with an assist from Corten, who
added her final goal -- unassisted -- at the 9:58 mark. Kristen
Johnson, who like Corten and Haars is also a freshman, scored the
Flashes' final two goals - the first with an assist from Laura
Meckley at the 5:38 mark and the second - unassisted - with 2:57
Ball State freshman Heather Weinhold put the Cardinals on the
board first with a rebounded shot off Kent goalie Janelle Lynch 6:17
into the contest. Haars' answered with her goal on a pass from
Corten at the 21:10 mark. Senior Maggie Downey's unassisted goal
off of a broken corner play put Kent up 2-1 with 13:44 remaining. BSU
senior Jocelyn Teall scored next with a beautifully executed corner
play pass from Northcroft at the 12:02 mark. Teall finished up the
scoring in the first half when she took sophomore Jenn Budney's pass
and slipped it by Lynch with 1:30 left in the first half.
"I think it was probably the most exciting game I have ever
been a part of," Kent head coach Kerry DeVries said afterwards.
"Ball State played very well and we played very well.
Fortunately for us, I think we were the better team in the second half
and that"s what counted today. I am very proud of this team. This
team has the heart of a lion and I am just really proud of them."
The teams were even with 27 shots apiece, but Ball State had a
17-9 advantage in corners. BSU senior goalie Jen Myers had 12 saves,
while Lynch had nine for the Flashes. Junior Tracy Beck had a
defensive save, while Megan Class had one for KSU.
"It was a heart breaker," BSU head coach Karen
Fitzpatrick. "I thought we had that one in the bag, but Kent got
some momentum building and got after it. I give Kent a lot of credit
because they made a fabulous comeback. I think we were really fired
up and ready to play. We just made a couple of critical errors in
trying to push through them rather than go around them. They have
tremendous speed and explosiveness in their attack and they took
advantage of that today.
"This year has been fabulous. I think for a long time Ball
State was carrying the Mid-American Conference and I am very proud of
that. I think this year it is great that we had three teams in the
top 20. It's fabulous because it allows our conference and teams to
get the credit they deserve."
Ball State, which is hoping for an at-large bid into the
16-team NCAA Championship Tournament, is 15-6. Kent improves to
BSU: Weinhold (unassisted) 28:43/1st
KSU: Haars (Corten) 21:10/1st
KSU: Downey (unassisted) 13:44/1st
BSU: Teall (Northcroft) 12:02/1st
BSU: Teall (Budney) 1:30/1st
BSU: Northcroft(pen. stroke) 23:20/2nd
KSU: Corten (unassisted) 18:29/2nd
KSU: Haars (Corten) 12:54/2nd
KSU: Corten (unassisted) 9:58/2nd
KSU: Johnson (Meckley) 5:38/2nd
KSU: Johnson (unassisted) 2:57/2nd
Shots: BSU 27; KSU 27
Penalty Corners: BSU 17; KSU 9
Goalie Saves: Myers (BSU) 12; Lynch (KSU) 9
Defensive Saves: Beck (BSU) 1; Class (KSU) 1
Records: Ball State is 15-6; Kent is 17-5