Bloomsburg 2, Indiana (Pa.) 1 (OT)

Nov. 5, 2005

BLOOMSBURG -- Kristy Kropa (Tunkhannock/Lackawanna Trail) scored a goal with 11:59 left to play in overtime to give the Bloomsburg University field hockey team a 2-1 win over Indiana (PA).

Kropa's goal came on a breakaway during the overtime. IUP goalie, Jackie Ruthkowski dove to make the save initially, but missed, giving Kropa space to put one in the box for the Huskies.

Head coach Jan Hutchinson knew the game was going to be tight going in.

"They're a good team," she said. "I thought both teams played well, both got chances to score. It was a hard-fought, low-scoring game and that's what championship play is all about."

The Huskies took control early, setting the pace for the game during the course of the first half. Bloomsburg out shot the Indians, 8-4 in the first half and also tallied five penalty corners to IUP's one. An opportunity to score came at the 11-minute mark for the Huskies on a penalty shot. On the first attempt, Venessa Witman (Oley/Oley Valley) took the stroke for the Huskies, but Ruthkowski made the save. After the referee called a re-shoot because Ruhtkowski moved before the shot was taken, Maribeth Brozena (Larksville/Wyoming Valley West) stepped up for the Huskies, but, again, Ruthkowski came up with the stop for IUP.

With the score tied at zero after the opening half, IUP started off strong, getting a penalty corner less than a minute into the second period. At the 30:56 mark, PSAC Player of the Year Suzanne Cornelissen broke the tie, putting the ball in the cage for IUP.

Hutchinson felt the team lost their edge after missing the scoring opportunity on the stroke.

"We lost momentum for the rest of the half after we didn't score on the stroke," she said. "After the timeout [that was called after Cornelissen's goal], I felt like we came back out and played really hard."

Brozena got a shot at the goal at the 24-minute mark on a corner, but the Huskies were unable to get on the board.

With 18:52 remaining in the game, Jamie Vanartsdalen (Huntington Valley/Lower Moreland) and Kropa managed a breakaway against the IUP defense. Kropa drove down the left side of the field and nailed a shot past Ruthkowski on the right side of the goal to tie the game.

"Kristy hustled to get up to where Jamie was on the breakaway," she said. "Kristy has always stepped up in championship play. She's either scored goals or had assists the last two years as a freshman and sophomore."

In the overtime period, Whitney Miller (Lancaster/Penn Manor) stole the ball from IUP's Kandice Pyles just over the midfield line in Bloomsburg territory. Miller hit the ball upfield and Kropa was able to make the breakaway play for the Huskies to win the game.

In goal for the Huskies, Tracey Hudak (Sweet Valley/Lake-Lehman) made four saves.

This will be the 23rd time the Huskies have a made in an appearance in the NCAA semifinals after winning three consecutive NCAA Division II National Championships in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Bloomsburg will travel to Shippensburg next Friday, to play the Lady Raiders for the fourth time this season in the semifinal match-up. In their last meeting, Shippensburg beat the Huskies, 5-4 to win their first-ever Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) title.

"Shippensburg is a very good team," Hutchinson said. "We can't take breaks like we did today, we're going to have to play a full game to beat them."

The Huskies are 1-2 against the Lady Raiders this season and, according to Kropa, are ready to face off against them again.

"We're confident going into the game," she said. "That last loss really hurt us and I think we're ready to have another chance at beating them. It's going to be a tough game, but if we play the way we can, we feel like we can beat them."

 BY PERIODS       1       2       OT          Total        
Indiana     0   1   0   1   
Bloomsburg  0   1   1   2    

SCORING                  
IUP         2nd     Suzanne Cornellisen     39:01
BU      2nd     Kristy Kropa    51:08
BU      OT  Kristy Kropa    73:04

Goalie Stats
BU  Tracey Hudak    3 saves     73:04 minutes
IUP     Jackie Ruthkowski   6 saves     73:04 minutes

Shots            
BU  16  IUP     8
Corners              
BU  10  IUP     5


-- Courtesy Bloomsburg