Nov. 14, 2009

Courtesy of Drexel

College Park, Md. - Kim Tunell scored two goals while Carolina Gibernau recorded a goal and two assists as No. 10 Drexel stunned No. 5 UConn, 3-2, in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Championship. The win advanced Drexel to the Elite Eight where the Dragons will face undefeated and No. 1-ranked Maryland on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2:00 p.m.

UConn earned the game's first penalty corner less than three minutes into the game when the Huskies' Jestine Angelini lifted a shot toward the cage that was immediately deflected into the air by a Drexel stick and over Jenna Phillips and into the back of the cage. Drexel responded with a goal on its second penalty corner of the game as Kim Tunell rocketed a shot directly off a corner that slammed the back of the cage. Carolina Gibernau and Elizabeth Koch were awarded assists as the stick-stop and inserter, respectively. The Dragons looked for a second when they found it after the first-half buzzer as Jen Cairone earned a penalty corner as she worked the ball in the right side of the circle. Tunell fired another shot off a corner that slid past UConn goalie Andrea Mainiero just inside the right post. Gibernau's stick-stop gave the senior her second assist of the day while Ashley Santee's insert gave the sophomore her first point of the season.

Drexel nearly got its third goal of the game as a loose ball popped to Gibernau at the top of the circle. The co-captain ripped a shot that was turned away by the left knee of Mainiero. Gibernau finally cashed in when she stick-stopped a penalty corner but kept the ball and dragged it to her right. She unleashed a shot that beat Mainiero to her right as the Dragons took a 3-1 lead. At 16:45 UConn looked to be on the verge of getting a goal back as the Huskies were awarded a penalty stroke. Rayell Heistand stepped up for UConn and sent and lifted a stroke to Phillips left side that the freshman goalie slapped away with her blocker. Less than two minutes later, UConn finally did strike when Loren Sherer slammed a deflection in from the right post. As the minutes wound down, the Huskies desparately tried to find the equalizer. With just 25 seconds left, UConn earned a free hit just outside the circle. Drexel stopped the entry and Tunell flicked the ball to the other end as time expired as the Dragon earned entry to the round of eight.

Drexel outshot UConn, 20-10, and earned nine penalty corners to the Huskies' five. Mainiero made seven saves in her final collegiate game while Phillips stopped four shots, including the crucial penalty stroke save. Drexel's Sofia Sanguinetti, the 2009 CAA Defender of the Year, played smothering defense on the NCAA's leading scorer, Scherer, allowing her just three shots on the day.