Sept. 13, 2008
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Ohio field hockey team snapped a three-game losing streak in dramatic fashion Saturday afternoon, knocking off Indiana 2-1 in double overtime in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Bobcats (2-3) rallied from a goal down to defeat the Hoosiers (3-2) for the second-straight year.
"It was a great team effort," Ohio head coach Neil Macmillan said. "We had many people contribute in a great way in the game today. I think our fitness was really telling and the fact that we ran our players in and out allowed us to wear them down. It was very similar to the Ohio State match (Sept. 3) throughout the game, but unlike the Ohio State game we managed to get the ball in the back of the net in overtime."
Indiana jumped out to a fast start, firing the first seven shots of the game and earning the first four penalty corners, but Ohio senior goalie Jessie Martin (Louisville, Ky.) kept the `Cats in the game, making three early saves. Ohio turned things around midway through the half, responding with three shots of their own.
The Hoosiers' Haley Funk broke the scoreless tie in the 28th minute with an unassisted goal, firing the ball into the right side of the cage from the near post, past Martin. It was the junior's second goal of the year.
The game remained 1-0 in favor of Indiana at the half, with the Hoosiers holding a 12-6 edge in shots and 5-3 advantage in penalty corners.
Ohio responded in the second half as senior Estienne Coetzee (Bloemfontein, S.A.) knotted the game at one in the 62nd minute on an unassisted goal from the right baseline. The goal was her second of the year.
"Estienne's goal was wonderful," Macmillan said. "I say to the players there are certain areas of the field you should never shoot from except in certain circumstances and that's exactly what Estienne did. She was low on the right baseline and smashed the ball over the goalie's shoulder, high into the net. I haven't seen many spectacular goals like that in my 10 years of coaching."
The match would head to overtime as neither team could find the net in the remainder of regulation. In the first overtime, Ohio's stamina showed, as the Bobcats outshot Indiana 5-3, but neither team would score.
Just over three minutes into the second overtime, Ohio would break the deadlock with the first shot in the second extra frame on senior Nikki Gnozzio's (Flanders, N.J.) first goal of the season, giving the Bobcats the 2-1 victory. Sophomore Paige Herr (Lancaster, Pa.) earned her second assist of the year on the game-winner.
"We had a break attacking the goal and there was a bit of a melee in front of the net," Macmillan said. "The ball popped out to Nikki on the backside of her stick. She adjusted to the ball with the keeper previously committed, allowing her to hammer it home for the winning goal."
It was Ohio's second double-overtime game in three games, as the `Cats fell to Ohio State by the same 2-1 score Sept. 3 in two overtimes.
The Hoosiers held the slight advantage in penalty corners on the game, 7-6. The Hoosiers also outshot Ohio 18-15. Sophomore Katie Griswold paced Indiana with four shots, one of which was on goal. The Bobcats were led by Estienne's four shots, three of which ended on goal. Seniors Rachelle Coetzee (Bloemfontein, S.A.) and game-hero Gnozzio each fired three shots.
"It was extremely exciting, especially being a defender; you don't really expect to score," Gnozzio said of her goal. "It felt good to be in a winning position again and especially to do it in double overtime because Indiana worked really hard and was really going after us, but we pulled through."
Martin made six saves in goal for Ohio, while her counterpart, Indiana sophomore Alex Mann, stopped four shots.
With the win, the Bobcats tied the all-time series with the Hoosiers at two each.
The Bobcats return to action next weekend, as they travel to sophomore Katherine Ballard's home town of Charlottesville, Va. for a pair of games against ranked teams. Ohio will play No. 2 Wake Forest, site of today's game, on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. and battle host and eighth-ranked Virginia on Sunday, Sept. 21 also at 1 p.m.