Carson-Newman 2, West Florida
Carson-Newman 2, West Florida 0Dec. 1, 2005
WICHITA FALLS, Texas - Freshman forward Amanda Iwansky tied the NCAA tournament record with her seventh goal of the postseason, giving the Mavs the game-winner and advancing them to the national championship game with a 2-1 win over Franklin Pierce Thursday. No. 7 UNO (19-2-0) trailed 1-0 in the 19th minute but then got an equalizer by sophomore forward Beth McGill before the half and then Iwansky's 16th goal of theseason sent the Mavs to their second NCAA title game. The Mavs willplay for their first national championship Saturday at 1 p.m. on NET2against either Carson-Newman or Seattle Pacific.
After a few minutes of game-opening jitters, the Mavs put some pressure on the Ravens and FPC was able to answer with some pressure ofits own. Junior forward Beth McGill's diving shot went wide three minutes into the game. The Ravens' Jenna Giardina took a point-blank shot eight minutes into the game that went right into the hands of senior goalkeeper Amy Price. Senior three-time All-American Laura Hislop then took a break-away pass up the middle at 18:32 and fired it in from 10 yards out to give the seventh-ranked Ravens the early lead. The goal marked the first given up by UNO in the tournament this year.
The Mavs responed to the deficit with a goal of their own nine minutes later. McGill, now a two-time All-American, slid Beale the ball in the goal box and Beale blasted it up and over the keeper's head from the right side of the net for her 12th goal of the year.
"I saw the ball floating out a little bit and all I could thinkabout was keep it down. Keep it down," said Beale. "I didn't know it went in until I saw McGill."
The Mavs poured on 20 shots in the opening half and put 10 of themon goal. Despite the dominance, they found themselves tied at halftime.They came out fired up in the second half.
""This whole season we've been a second-half team," said McGill.
The Mavs have scored 46 of their 62 goals in the second half of games this year.
She and the rest of the offense responded while the defense continued to shut out the Ravens and their cast of All-Americans. They held Hislop to just one additional shot after she got her 24th goal of the year.
"We've seen a lot of really good forwards this year," said all-region defender Meghan Pile. "It's always a challenge when you'replaying an All-American, but our defense was up for the challenge."
In the 62nd minute Iwansky, the NCC freshman of the year, pushed a loose ball forward and let a shot go right into FPC keeper Jenna Mello. Mello had it deflect off her and right into Iwansky's side. With Iwansky still coming on strong the ball bounced off her and into the back of the net.
"I was just going to put some pressure on the keeper," said Iwansky, who took five shots in the game. "It worked out a little better than that."
After getting their first goals and lead in the final four since 2002, the Mavericks' defense, with the help of the midfielders, went to work to preserve the lead.
Freshman midfielder Tara Wegehaupt and sophomore midfielder Danielle McCawley both made saves in the box with seven minutes left after Price was knocked down and Pile stopped a hard shot from Hislop a minute later. At times, the Mavs had all 11 players deep in their own territory as time ran down.
The Mavs out shot Franklin Pierce 33-13 and had a 16-5 advantage on shots on goal. UNO took 12 corner kicks while allowing the Ravens four. UNO is now 12-3-1 in the NCAA tournament and 2-2 now in semifinal games. Both wins came against FPC with the first coming in 2002.
Iwansky can set the NCAA tournament record for goals with one on Saturday. She tied Missy Gregg, the NCAA's all-time leading scorer. Gregg had seven goals in the 2001 tournament for Christian Brothers. The Mavs lost the following year, 2-1, to Christian Brothers in their first trip to the championship game.
-- Courtesy Nebraska-Omaha