Dartmouth outlasts UVM in exciting penalty stroke finish

by Lindsay Barnes | 9/29/05 5:00am

When cross-state rivals Dartmouth and Vermont clashed on Wednesday in a battle for field hockey supremacy, neither team gave an inch for most of the contest.

After two overtime periods, it had become clear the game wasn't going to be settled by conventional means. The rules of the game dictated engaging in what some consider to be the most exciting five minutes in sports -- the penalty stroke-off.

When the sticks settled, the Big Green found they had come out on top, defeating the Catamounts 3-2.

In terms of goal scoring, the game was very much a tale of two halves. Through the duration of the first half, neither team could get anything going on the offensive end.

But just after halftime, nothing could have been further from the truth. In the span of the first 11 minutes of the second half, the two teams combined to score three goals.

The first of the flurry came from Laura Kistler '06, who put the ball past Catamount goalie Ariel Eber off a penalty corner assist from Jessica Saraceno '06.

But Vermont's offensive attack would not remain silent for much longer -- four minutes later, Kelly McClintock scored on Lauren Balukjian '06 to tie the game. But the scoreboard would read 1-1 for only 18 seconds more because that's how long it took Ashley Hines '09 to notch her first collegiate goal, putting Dartmouth back in the lead.

Unfortunately for Big Green fans, Vermont would show Hines that she would have to wait for another day to tally her first game-winner. With just under five minutes remaining in regulation, UVM's Danielle Collins beat Balukjian and tied the game up once more. As the final seconds of the second half ticked away, the score remained deadlocked at 2-2 and the game went into overtime.

After two scoreless periods of overtime, Dartmouth chose to send Kistler, Saraceno and Hines to shoot in the all-or-nothing penalty stroke-off. Ultimately, these proved to be wise choices as all three converted on their chances to score on Eber.

Balukjian proved her netminding mettle with an equally impressive demonstration, foiling all three of the Catamounts' efforts to score and giving Dartmouth the close victory.

The Big Green resumes Ivy League competition on Saturday in a game on the road at Penn. The Philadelphia match-up is scheduled to start at 12 p.m.

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