Mids left out as Bucknell wins in OT

2-1 loss in Patriot finale damages tourney hopes of Navy women's team

Soccer

Colleges

November 12, 2001|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

High and to the left. It's where Bucknell midfielder Lauren Schwarz has shot all of her penalty kicks since her earliest days in the sport.

In overtime of yesterday's Patriot League women's final in Annapolis, it was her accurate placement that left host Navy down and out.

Schwarz's penalty kick 3:07 into the first sudden-death period sent the Mids to an agonizing 2-1 loss, most likely denying them their first trip to the NCAA tournament.

"We knew where it was going," Navy coach Carin Gabarra said. "That shot was probably unsavable."

Navy (16-5-1), which still has an outside chance for an at-large bid, will learn its fate this afternoon when the 64-team field is announced.

In the waning moments of regulation, however, it looked as if the Mids were poised for heroics.

Trailing 1-0, they tied the game with just 55 seconds left when Bison goalie Laurie Purse, attempting to clear a ball, strayed well out of the box, but kicked it off the side of her foot. Forward Amelia Sheveland quickly pounced on it, and fired it into an empty net.

"We had all the emotion on our side at that point, and I thought that would play into our hands," Gabarra said. "But they did a nice job of not getting down and quitting after we did score, and they took it to us."

Bucknell (12-6) controlled the ball in the early moments of overtime before forward Tara Utchel was tripped in the box after beating a Navy defender to her left, prompting the penalty kick.

Schwarz then sent the kick past the outstretched fingers of goalie Kate Macfarlane, a former All-Metro pick from Hereford.

"It's the same spot every time," said Schwarz, 2-for-2 this year on penalty kicks. "Ever since I started playing soccer, that's where I like to place it."

"She doesn't miss," Bucknell coach Chrissy Findlay said. The goal set off a wild celebration for the Bison, who had never advanced to the league final despite qualifying for the four-team tournament in eight of 11 years, and just eight days earlier had lost to Navy, 1-0, in overtime.

"You can never underestimate any team in the Patriot League, much less Navy," Findlay said. "They've had a lot of games when they've come back like that. We knew we just had to stay focused and do what we could do."

Bucknell outshot the Mids, 17-10, holding them without a shot for the first 28:33. The Bison took a 1-0 lead with 22:50 left when Macfarlane came out to save a hard shot by Savannah Rennels, and Kristie Simon scored on the rebound.

"We're a possession team, and they just did an excellent job of taking us out of our style," Gabarra said. "They made us play the long ball, because when it becomes 50-50, they're bigger and stronger and they were winning those balls. That's what it took to win."

Goals: B-Simon, Schwarz; N-Sheveland. Assists: B-Rennels. Saves: B-Purse 3; N-Macfarlane 7.

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