Lady Monarchs Crowned NCAA Champions
By ODU Athletics
|ODU Wins its Ninth National Championship with a 3-1 Victory over North Carolina.|
NORFOLK, Va. -- The top-seeded and top-ranked Old Dominion Lady Monarchs topped North Carolina, 3-1, in the NCAA National Field Hockey Division I National Championship Sunday afternoon at Foreman Field on the campus of Old Dominion University. The Lady Monarchs claimed their ninth overall NCAA crown and finished the season 25-1. North Carolina ended its season with a 20-4 record.
"I wish I knew her secret," said North Carolina Head Coach Karen Shelton of Old Dominion Head Coach Beth Anders. "I am always amazed at the way she prepares her teams, and how well they play with such emotion and fire. And it's been consistent."
The Lady Monarchs took a 1-0 lead early in the game on a corner play. Senior midfielder Marina DiGiacomo (Mendoza, Argentina) connected with 24:57 remaining in the half. The play was assisted by Adrienne Yoder (Coopersburg, Pa.) and Marjolijn van der Sommen (Leiden, Netherlands). The lead would hold through halftime.
"I'm so proud of my kids," Anders said. "They played with all their hearts, they played hard and never quit."
Old Dominion added an insurance goal at the 33:49 mark of the second half. Julie Miracle (Audubon, Pa.) put back a rebound off a DiGiacomo shot that would stand to be the gamewinner. North Carolina cut into the lead at 2-1 on a Kristen McCann (Macungie, Pa.) tip-in off an Abby Martin (Saratoga Springs, NY) corner shot. North Carolina, however, could get no closer.
"We knew what we had to do at that point," said Lady Monarch goalkeeper Marybeth Freeeman. "Just get the ball out and stick to our fundamentals."
The Lady Monarchs added a third goal for the win when Laura Steadman (Virginia Beach, Va.) connected at the 6:31 mark. Old Dominion sophomore goalkeeper Marybeth Freeman (Holland, Pa.) collected six saves, including five at crucial points in the second half.
Old Dominion's DiGiacomo finishes her career as the NCAA's all-time point leader with 414 points on 167 goals and 80 assists.
"You could not ask for more," DiGiacomo said of winning the national championship at Foreman Field in her last career game. "This team might not have as much skill as the (1998) championship. But this team has just so much heart. We felt confidence because of that. This is just a dream come true."
SCORING SUMMARY UNC 0 1 1 ODU 1 2 3
ODU 24:57 Marina DiGiacomo (Adrienne Yoder/Marjolijn van der Sommen)
ODU 33:49 Julie Miracle UNC 25:38 Kristen McCann (Abby Martin) ODU 6:31 Laura Steadman SHOT ON GOAL UNC(12); ODU(20) PENALTY CORNERS UNC(7); ODU(12) GOALKEEPER SAVES UNC(15) - Amy Tran(15) ODU(6) - Marybeth Freeman(6) ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM Marina DiGiacomo (ODU) Caroline Walter (UM) Carrie Lingo (UNC) Abby Martin (UNC) Julie Miracle (ODU) Kelly Doton (WFU) Becky Loy (ODU) Marjolijn van der Sommen (ODU) Laura Steadman (ODU) Kristen McCann (UNC) Marybeth Freeman (ODU)