Field Hockey To Close Out Six-Game Road Trip

September 15, 2004
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Sept. 15, 2004

NORFOLK, Va. -- The No. 7 Old Dominion field hockey team wraps up its six-game season opening road trip with games at No. 3 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Saturday, September 18th and at No. 4 Duke in Durham, N.C. on Sunday, September 19th. Both games are slated for a 1:00 p.m. start.

The Tar Heels and Lady Monarchs have one of the fiercest rivalries in collegiate field hockey, dating back to the 1978 season. Old Dominion currently holds the all-time series advantage, 30-24-2, however North Carolina managed to sweep the home-and-home series last year, the first time since the 1999 season.

North Carolina enters the weekend ranked third in the first NFHCA/STX Poll of the year. The Tar Heels hold a perfect 6-0 mark and like the Lady Monarchs, played their first six games on the road. Saturday's game will mark the 2004 home opener for the Tar Heels.

First Team All-American and Under-23 National Team member Kelsey Keeran leads the way for the Tar Heels having recorded 17 points on eight goals and an assist. Junior Karen Mann has posted four goals as North Carolina's second leading scorer, while rookie and Under-19 team member Anne Marie Janus checks in as the squad's third leading scorer with seven points on three goals and an assist. In the cage, junior Katy Tran, is holding a .71 goals against average, sixth in the nation, and has already posted two shutouts.

In their first meeting last year, back on September 20th, right after Hurricane Isabel hit the east coast, the Lady Monarchs suffered a 4-0 shutout at Chapel Hill. Senior Carey Fetting-Smith scored twice, both times on penalty corners, while Keeran and sophomore Laree Beans added in the other tallies.

In the rematch at Foreman Field on November 1st, the Tar Heels left with a 4-2 victory. The game was evenly matched in the first half with each team posting a goal before halftime. Former Lady Monarch Angie Loy posted ODU's first goal of the afternoon, while Chilly Banuelos put the Lady Monarchs up 2-1 seven minutes into the second half. Although the Old Dominion defense kept the Tar Heels away from the net until the 19:11 mark of half number two, North Carolina went on to score three unanswered goals for the victory. Mann tied the game, while senior midfielder Laura Douglas fired off the game-winner with 16:00 minutes remaining, and sophomore Brooke Miller added in an insurance goal.

The Blue Devils, who were the 2003 national runner-ups, enter the weekend with a 5-1 overall mark and will entertain James Madison on Saturday before taking on the Lady Monarchs. Duke suffered their lone setback to Michigan State, 4-1, but have registered an overtime victory over defending national champions Wake Forest (4-3) and recorded three shutouts averaging 11 goals in those three wins. The Blue Devils, ranked fourth in the first STX/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Poll, are currently outscoring their opponents 40-8 and are averaging 6.6 goals per game.

Junior forward Katie Grant, ranked third in the nation in points per game, leads Duke with 24 points off of nine goals and six assists. Womensfieldhockey.com's National Player of the Week, junior forward Nicole Dudek, is second on the squad in scoring having registered 21 points off of nine goals and three assists. In net, duties have been spilt between junior Christy Morgan and rookie Caitlin Williams. Morgan holds a .99 goals against average, ninth in the country, with 17 saves and an .810 save percentage. Williams has allowed four goals in her two appearances and has a 1.32 goals against average and .733 save percentage.

The Lady Monarchs hold the all-time series with a 14-3 advantage. Old Dominion and Duke faced each other twice last season, once in the regular season and the other in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. While the Lady Monarchs have already established a home-and-home series with fellow ACC rivals Maryland and North Carolina, this season marks the first home-and-home series with the Blue Devils. Previously, the Lady Monarchs played home-and-home contests with Princeton, when current Duke head coach, Beth Bozeman, was at the helm before going to Durham in 2003.

In the regular season game on September 21, 2003, the Blue Devils edged out the Lady Monarchs 3-2. The Lady Monarchs struck early, just two minutes into the contest, as former ODU All-American and current undergraduate assistant coach Angie Loy connected on a pass from sophomore Anna Rogers. However a mere 35 seconds later, Duke knotted the score at 1-1 on a senior forward Chrissie Murphy goal. The Blue Devils went ahead, 2-1 with 15 minutes left in the games in a redirect by senior midfielder Johanna Bischof, but the Lady Monarchs did not go quietly as sophomore Katie Claxton found the back of the Duke net on an unassisted goal to tie the game back up with under five minutes remaining. However it was a Duke penalty corner just moments later which proved to be the game-winner and gave the Blue Devils the one goal victory.

In the rematch in the second round of NCAA Tournament action, the Blue Devils, who would later reach the national championship game, ended Old Dominion's 23rd NCAA Tournament run with a 8-2 win. Grant scored three goals for Duke, while Murphy added two nets. Although former Lady Monarch Melissa Leonetti helped tie the game at 1-1 with 11 minutes into first half of action, the Blue Devils took the lead for good five minutes later. Senior defender Beth Maddox (Va. Beach, Va.) scored the only other goal for Old Dominion.

The Lady Monarchs enter competition this weekend with a 4-1 mark having come off a 3-2 overtime win at No. 9 Michigan and a 3-1 victory against Syracuse. Reigning CAA Player of the Week and an Honorable Mention Player by womensfieldhockey.com, junior midfielder Jennifer Angat (Va. Beach, Va.) currently leads the squad with two goals and two assists. Last week, she assisted on the game-tying goal against the Wolverines and later registered the game-winner with just over two and half minutes remaining in the game. Against Syracuse, Angat had the hand in the game-winning goal by recording the pass which sent home the goal.

Sophomore Dana Sensenig (Denver, Pa.) comes into the weekend as Old Dominion's second leading scorer with four points off a goal and two assists. Additionally, sophomores Katie Claxton (Va. Beach, Va.) and Caroline Nichols (Va. Beach, Va.) ranked as the Lady Monarchs' third leading scorers with three points apiece. Both Claxton and Nichols have recorded a goal and an assist.

In net, sophomore Mary Cate Gordon (Oreland, Pa.) has played 292 minutes of action with 25 saves. She is holding a .714 save percentage and a 3.08 goals against average.

After this weekend's competition, the Lady Monarchs finally return home to host a four-game home stand. The home stand will open with last year's NCAA first round opponent, Richmond, on Friday, September 24th, followed by Virginia on Sunday, September 26th.