Here's to You Ms. Roberts: Roberts Scores Two to Lead No. 10 Penn Past No. 8 Arizona at National Collegiate Club Championship
DAVIS, Calif. -- Soleil Roberts (Gr., Yardley, Pa.) scored twice and won three sprints to earn Player of the Game honors as the Quakers of No. 10-nationally ranked University of Pennsylvania rallied from a 4-0 halftime deficit to shock No. 8 University of Arizona 8-7 in sudden death overtime to advance to the semfinals at the 2009 National Collegiate Club Championship at the University of California-Davis.
Penn is now guaranteed of recording the best finish in program history as the Quakers can finish no lower than fourth in the final tournament standings, a one place improvement from the program's fifth place mark last season at the 2008 National Collegiate Club Championship at the University of Oregon.
The 2009 season marks the fourth consecutive season Penn has competed at Nationals as the Quakers previously placed fifth (2008), sixth (2007) and 13th (2006).
Trailing 4-0 at intermission, Penn began to climb back into the game as Deidre Sandrock (Gr., West Lawn, Pa.) whipped a backhander into the cage from set at 6:39 of the third period to break-up the Wildcats' bid for a shutout of the Quakers.
Arizona returned the favor when Hayley Chritton, who played in goal in the Wildcats' first round 8-5 win over Boston College, finished on a fast-break at 5:22 to go in front 5-1.
The lead dwindled quickly over the next four minutes as Natasa Kordic (Jr., Sacramento, Calif.) ripped in a cross pass on a man-up chance at 4:35, Roberts tacked on a man-up goal at 3:11 and Kordic buried a five-meter penalty shot at 1:25 as the Quakers reeled in Arizona to move within 5-4.
Arizona closed the third period with the Wildcats' sixth marker as Cameron Kliner (Gr., Los Angeles, Calif.) put home a near-side shot to push her team out to a 6-4 lead.
Needing a radical comeback in the fourth period to force overtime, Penn went to work as Roberts finished a crossing pass from Winnie Eastwood (Gr., Carlsbad, Calif.) at 4:22 and Curtin connected on a cross pass from Eastwood at 3:08 to pull the teams even and bring on overtime.
Both teams struggled to solve the other's defense for much of the first three-minute overtime period before Justine Hedlund (Sr., Portola Valley, Calif.) uncorkerd a direct shot past Penn netminder Elizabeth Lawrence (Jr., Menands, N.Y.) at 1:24 to put Arizona back in front 7-6.
However, the Quakers refused to die and fought back with a bar down and in by Eastwood 17 seconds later to set the score at 7-all and bring on the next overtime frame.
Neither team was able to find the back of the cage over the final three-minute OT period to force sudden death/victory overtime.
The teams wrestled in a death-struggle for much of the sudden victory period before Kathryn Nary (Fr., Westlake Village, Calif.) unleashed a desperation heave which sailed inside the right post and past the out-stretched arms of Arizona goalie Rachel Nau (Sr., Danville, Calif.) for the game-winner.
Nau finished with 10 saves, while Lawrence picked up the victory and eight saves.
Arizona will continue the tournament at 6:20 p.m. this evening (Saturday, March 2) against No. 4 University of Michigan with a berth inthe fifth place game at stake. Penn will meet No. 1 ranked and defending national champion California Polytechnic State University at 8:40 in the semifinals with a bid to the national championship game on the line.
|No. 10 University of Pennsylvania||0||0||4||2||1||0||1||8|
|No. 8 Univeristy of Arizona||2||2||2||0||1||0||0||7|
Arizona Goals: Cami Kliner (2); Justine Hedlund; Alicia King; Jennifer Shah; Abby Tsukamoto; Ashley Francis
Penn Goals: Soleil Roberts (2); Natasa Kordic (2); Kathryn Nary; Sheena Curtin; Winnie Eastwood; Deidre Sandrock
Saves: Arizona - Rachel Nau (10) ; Penn - Elizabeth Lawrence (8)
Ejections: Arizona - 15 ; Penn - 13
Sprints: Arizona - 4 (Patricia White - 2nd, 4th, 5th; Cameron Kliner - 7th) ; Penn - 3 (Soleil Roberts - 1st, 3rd, 6th)