NORFOLK, Va. - The No. 10 Old Dominion University field hockey team (11-6, 5-1) came away with a 3-2 thrilling overtime win against No. 2 North Carolina and extended their winning streak to ten.
"It was a great field hockey game and a fun atmosphere out there today," said ODU head coach Andrew Griffiths. "I think the two teams were evenly matched and it was a tremendous effort - one of those games where it's a shame that one team has to lose. I am proud again of our team's effort and level of play. We keep working to get better and we will try to do the same on Friday to finish our regular season strong."
Senior day at Old Dominion featured Danielle Clutter and Christy Longacre as ODU's two seniors. Clutter would score the game-winner in overtime and Longacre tallied two assists on the first two goals to help ODU secure the victory.
From the first whistle to the final goal this was a game that was all about defense. Both sides yearned for a scoring chance and penalty corners came extremely rare. Old Dominion goalkeeper Megan Hept made three saves in the first half to keep the game tied at zero.
It was not until the second half when Old Dominion received their second corner and Caitlin Walsh put one in the back of the net courtesy of senior Longacre's assist. However everytime the Monarchs scored UNC would have an answer. Thirty-seven seconds later, Tar Heel Loren Shealy scored a goal to even the game at one. Lady Monarch forward Rosario Villagra would score less than two minutes later off a corner with the assist going to Longacre. North Carolina would not go away easily as Tar Heel Charlotte Craddock received a pass from Sinead Loughran and buried a goal to even the game at two apiece. Both teams would go back and forth and there were scoring chances but nobody could capitalize.
In overtime, North Carolina received the first penalty corner but could not score as Hept came up with a save. Old Dominion bounced back with two penalty corners and senior Danielle Clutter scored the game-winner with an assist to Emily Harting.
ODU has now won ten straight games including wins against No. 1 Maryland last Sunday and No. 4 Connecticut on Friday. ODU outshot the Tar Heels 14-10 and came away with seven penalty corners to UNC's five. ODU keeper Hept made six saves on the day and earned her 11th win on the year. UNC's Sassi Ammer made one save and lost only her third game this season in net.
54:14 ODU Caitlin Walsh (1) from Christy Longacre
54:51 UNC Loren Shealy (7)
56:03 ODU Rosario Villagra (14) from Christy Longacre
60:33 UNC Charlotte Craddock (7) from Sinead Loughran
77:40 ODU Danielle Clutter (4) from Emily Harting
Shots: ODU (14), UNC (10)
Corners: ODU (7), UNC (5)
Saves: ODU (6), UNC (1)
#3 Star ODU B Caitlin Walsh
- Scored the opening goal for ODU off a corner in the second half, which opened up the scoring flood gates for six minutes. Walsh also rebounded quickly after suffering an injury Friday.
#2 Star ODU B Danielle Clutter
-It was senior day and Clutter delivered the game-winner for ODU, helped solidify the defense to not allow many UNC scoring chances (UNC last outshot ODU 17-6 in previous meeting) and had two shots on the day.
#1 Star ODU B Christy Longacre
-The senior gave ODU a chance to win on every penalty corner with two assists on the first two goals. During the ten-game winning streak Longacre and the defense get the credit they deserve.
Old Dominion finishes the regular season Friday at 1 p.m. at Rutgers. ODU will play for their first Big East regular season title. Take a look at the current Big East standings:
BIG EAST Standings: (as of 10/27)
Big East Overall
(14) Louisville* 5-1 13-4
(10) Old Dominion* 5-1 11-6
(4) Connecticut 5-1 13-3
(17) Temple 4-2 14-4
Providence 3-3 8-7
Rutgers 2-4 9-7
Villanova 0-6 3-11
Georgetown 0-6 2-14
*Louisville owns the current tiebreaker.
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