COOPER OT GOAL PUTS TUFTS IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

COLLEGE WOMEN'S SOCCER FINAL SCORE
NCAA Div. III Semi-finals
Tufts 1 Wisconsin-Stevens Point 0 ot

Date: Saturday, November 18, 2000
at Medford

Tufts (18-3-1) 0 0 1 = 1
Wisconsin-Stevens Point (22-5) 0 0 0 = 0

SCORING: Lynn Cooper (unassisted) 101:25.

SAVES: T, Randee McArdle 4; W, Abby Rabinovitz 6.

CORNER KICKS: T, 10; W, 4.

SHOTS: T, 17; W, 13.

MEDFORD – Junior Lynn Cooper (Wilton, CT) scored on a loose ball in front of the goal with 3:35 left in the first overtime to lift the Tufts University Jumbos to a 1-0 victory over visiting Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) in the semi-finals of the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Tournament. The Jumbos advance to the NCAA National Championship Game against College of New Jersey, a 1-0 winner in overtime against Trinity University (Texas) in the other semi-final. The Championship Game is tomorrow at 1 pm in Medford.

In a game affected by a strong wind, Tufts won a coin toss before the overtime period and had the wind at their backs. With UWSP goal kicks and clearing attempts knocked down by the wind, the Jumbos were able to dominate. They were unable to capitalize until senior defender Carmen Mikacenic (Seattle, WA) took a direct kick that she put towards the right post. The ball got loose in the goal area and Cooper came at it, kicking it on the bounce into the goal. She had a bag of ice on her left knee after the game due to the odd angle at which she kicked the ball.

"It was pretty painful, but definitely worth it," she said.

The goal was the seventh in eight career NCAA games for Cooper. The tournament record is 10 set by Lauren Johnson of California-San Diego from 1995-97. Host of the semi-finals and championship game, Tufts played in front of a largely partisan crowd of 1,200 at Kraft Field.

Tufts had the wind at its back for the second half and OT and had numerous chances to score before overtime. With 26 minutes remaining in the second half, the Tufts attack created a turnover and earned a corner kick. Junior Katie Kehrberger (Waldwick, NJ) served the corner perfectly and sophomore Cara Glassanos' (Hingham, MA) header deflected off the cross bar. On the ensuing corner, the Jumbos had a mad flurry of three shots, one that was superbly defended by UWSP sophomore Andrea Spiel (Madison, WI) and another that was finally collected by Pointers senior goalkeeper Abby Rabinovitz (Green Bay, WI).

"Our fear in a game like this when one team puts a lot of pressure on the other is that the other will break out and score on one shot or a corner kick," Tufts head coach Martha Whiting said. "We did a good job getting back quickly in transition."

Though Tufts held a relatively close 17-13 margin in shots, their 10-4 advantage in corners shows that they had more scoring chances. Playing with the wind in the first half, Wisconsin had Tufts back on its heels late in the frame. The best chance came when freshman Jenny Bruce (Menasha, WI) found open space 20 yards out, but fired wide right. Tufts senior keeper Randee McArdle (East Nassau, NY) made four saves for her eighth shutout of the season. Rabinovitz had six for the Pointers.

"This was a wind-dominated game, so we were hoping to wait through the first 15 minutes of OT and then give more of a go at it in the second OT," Wisconsin head coach Sheila Miech said.

It almost got to that point, but Cooper was in the right place at the right time for her 11th goal of the season to end it.

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