Field hockey outlasts Cornell in dramatic OT fashion

by David Schmidt | 11/7/05 6:00am

Up two goals with under four minutes to play in regulation, Dartmouth field hockey overcame an astonishing comeback to beat Cornell 3-2 in overtime at Scully-Fahey Field on Sunday's senior day.

With about six minutes left in the second half, Dartmouth coach Amy Fowler replaced her keeper Lauren Balukjian '06 with backup Ashley Heist in order to let Dartmouth fans show their appreciation for Balukjian's career. The game seemed under wraps as Dartmouth was up 2-0 and Cornell had not been creating opportunities.

Within a couple minutes Cornell earned a penalty corner, only its second of the game. Cornell's Katlyn Donoghue took a straight shot from the top of the circle that beat Heist to cut Dartmouth's lead in half.

In a one-goal game Fowler decided to take out the rest of her seniors with 1:40 to play. Balukjian, Laura Kistler '06, Nina Fulmer '06, Lindsay Gossage '06 and Jessica Saraceno '06, who missed all but the start of the game with a shoulder injury, thought they were finished with regular-season college action. But, with the exception of Saraceno, they had not played their last collegiate field hockey.

Cornell drew two corners within regulation's last minute. Heist saved a shot on the first corner, but Dartmouth could not clear the ball.

The officials called Dartmouth on another violation inside the circle, and Cornell's Belen Martinez converted with 0:00 left on the game clock. Even though time had expired, the officials had to allow Cornell a chance to score off the corner.

A shocked Dartmouth regrouped for overtime. In overtime field hockey, each team has seven players on the field as opposed to the usual eleven. Dartmouth's short squad brought Balukjian, Kistler, Gossage and Fulmer back on the field to join Whitney Waugh '08, Audrey Knutson '07 and Lizzie Bildner '08.

Within two minutes Dartmouth had won the game. Knutson brought the ball downfield where she assisted Gossage in netting the game-winner.

The win leaves Dartmouth tied for second in the Ivy League with Brown, whom Dartmouth beat 3-0 in Providence earlier in the season. Dartmouth's 9-8 (Ivy 5-2) record qualifies them to play in the East Coast Athletic Conference Tournament. Whether they will receive an invitation has not been determined.

Nobody could have anticipated the way the game would end after watching how it began. Bildner opened the scoring for the Big Green when she deflected Waugh's shot up and over Cornell's keeper Lizzie Goldblatt. Her seventh goal of the year ties her with Waugh for the team lead.

Down one with about nine minutes left in the second half, Cornell called a timeout to focus its attack. The timeout backfired as it was Dartmouth who came out strong after the meeting.

Waugh immediately stole the ball and possessed it down the field. Luring the keeper from the cage, Waugh passed it to Knutson who scored easily. It was the first goal of Knutson's season, and she later recorded her first assist on the game-winner.

Waugh tallied her fifth and sixth assists which, with her seven goals give her a team-leading twenty points on the season.

Fowler gave Saraceno a chance to start the game, despite suffering a shoulder injury against Maine a few weeks ago. She played less than a minute with her start being more ceremonial than anything.

Dartmouth outshot Cornell 15-8 and 9-7 in shots on goal. Balukjian had four saves finishing her regular-season career with a shutout. Heist added another save for the Big Green. Dartmouth had five penalty corners to Cornell's four.Until the ECAC makes its decision, Dartmouth will have to wait to see if it will suit up once again this season.

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