November 18, 2006
Bloomsburg Field Hockey Wins 13th National Title With Win Over Bentley
PENSACOLA, Fla. -The Bloomsburg University field hockey completed an undefeated season on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Bentley College in Pensacola, Florida. The game was played as part of the NCAA Division II National Sports Festival.
The win was the 24th of the year for the Huskies (24-0), tying a school record for wins in a season, and was also the 13th national title, 10th Division II crown, for head coach Jan Hutchinson.
"The team was focused from the start and played hard," said Hutchinson. "This championship was special because of these individual kids. They are different than any other group we've had."
The Huskies dominated the game statistically holding the Falcons to just two shots on goal, one in each half, while coming up with 16 of their own. In the first half, Bloomsburg held a 10-1 edge in shots and 7-0 edge in penalty corners.
"They have great sticks and are a very good team," said Bentley head coach Kelly McGowan of Bloomsburg. "They play a much different style than us and it was rough to match up with them."
The first 20 minutes of the game saw the two teams battled back and forth for control of the field. It wasn't till about the 15 minutes left in the half that the Huskies started to control play and field position.
Then with under 15 minutes to play in the half, Bloomsburg drove the ball into the circle. After a shot was blocked by Bentley goalie Alyssa Sliney, the Huskies Samantha Kropa (Tunkhannock/Lackawanna Trail) banged home a rebound to put the Huskies in front 1-0.
Bloomsburg controlled play for the remainder of the first half and had four penalty corners in the final five minutes of play, but could not convert.
In the second half, the Huskies once again controlled play with Venessa Witman (Oley/Oley Valley), Maribeth Brozena (Larksville/Wyoming Valley West), Kelsy Kress (Littlestown/Littlestown) and Brittany Wilkins (Barto/Boyertown) leading the way defensively.
Later, Bloomsburg had a chance to stretch the lead after being awarded a penalty stroke midway through the second half, but Witman's shot went wide left on the attempt.
Then, with time running down, Bentley made one last attempt to send the game into overtime driving the ball into the circle, but after one shot attempt was blocked, the ball was cleared from the circle as time ran out setting off a celebration among the players.
Named to the all-tournament team from Bloomsburg were Kropa, Brozena, Tracey Hudak (Sweet Valley/Lake-Lehman) and Jamie Vanartsdalen (Huntingdon Valley/Lower Moreland).
The win over Bentley was the fourth for Bloomsburg in the title game. The last time the two teams met was in 2004 when the Huskies won 3-2 in overtime.
"I am especially happy for the seniors," Hutchinson said. "They've had unbelievable careers and you're always happy to win it for them. It's the best thing for a coach to guide their players and also feel the elation for the kids."
Bloomsburg's senior class ends its career with a mark of 86-10 and three NCAA titles.
"The kids have been thrilled with the whole festival," said Hutchinson. "They've had a wonderful time and they said that even if we had not come away with a championship, that this would have been a wonderful time. The championship is just icing on the cake."