STORRS, Conn.- The No. 5 Old Dominion women's field hockey team (13-6) defeated No. 14 Louisville (15-5) by a 2-0 final in the Big East Semifinals Friday night. The Lady Monarchs won their 12th game in a row and play No. 1 seed UConn Sunday at 1 p.m. for the Big East Championship.
“We played consistently well throughout the game,” said ODU head coach Andrew Griffiths. “We moved the ball really effectively, even on an icy field. The second half we were a bit more balanced attacking the circle from different angles and it paid off. Louisville is a quality team and it’s a good win for us.”
Old Dominion obtained the first corner chance in the first half, but ODU was unable to put away a goal. ODU and Louisville finished the half tied with three shots apiece and the game was scoreless.
In the second half, the Lady Monarchs received a goal from an unlikely candidate. Nicole Goff scored her first goal of the year at 60:35 with Kelsey Smither receiving the lone assist. Eight minutes later, Katy Fuhrman tallied the second goal of the night for ODU on an empty net, and Fuhrman’s fourth of the year with an assist going to Goff.
ODU outshot Louisville by an 11-4 final tally and had 3 penalty corners to the Cardinals 2. ODU goalkeeper Megan Hept made two saves, recorded her eighth shutout in her last 12 games in net, and earned her 13th win of the year. Louisville goalkeeper Sydney King stopped four shots on goal and fell to 15-5 record on the season.
ODU was led by Goff and Villagra’s three shots, followed by Sarah Breen and Katy Fuhrman with two and Christy Longacre with one.
60:35 ODU Nicole Goff (1) from Kelsey Smither
68:54 ODU Katy Fuhrman (4) from Nicole Goff
Shots: ODU (11), Louisville (4)
Corners: ODU (3), Louisville (2)
Saves: ODU (2), Louisville (4)
#3 Star ODU GK Megan Hept
- Earned her 8th shutout in the last 12 games she has played. Picked up her 13th win and came up with two saves on the night to help ODU shutout Louisville.
#2 Star ODU M/B Kelsey Smither
-ODU needed someone to give a key assist and spark a scoring drought and Smither came up huge with a game winning assist on the game's first goal.
#1 Star ODU F/M Nicole Goff
-The redshirt junior was in the perfect spot to get the game winning goal, which was her first of the year, and also added an assist on the games second goal. Goff added a team high three shots on the night to earn the first star.
No. 5 ODU takes on No. 7 UConn (16-4) Sunday at 1 p.m. for the Big East Championship and an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The entire field will be announced at 10 p.m EST on NCAA.com later Sunday night.
“I mean they have had a great season and the result last time is not indicative of the game,” said ODU head coach Griffiths (concerning Sunday’s matchup against UConn). "Certainly, I do not think it is indicative of where the two teams are. It is going to be a very good match and I expect it to be fast, competitive, and skillful.”
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