Nov. 12, 2010

Courtesy of Otterbein Athletics

Otterbein, ranked third nationally, used late heroics yet again to secure a 1-0 victory over Calvin (MI) in the opening round of the NCAA Division III women's soccer tournament Friday at Clements Field.

Senior All-American defender Jenny Knox converted a header in the 86th minute off a corner kick from midfielder Cristen Herold to lift the Cardinals into Saturday's second round match.

The goal was Knox's fifth of the season, and Herold added to her Otterbein single-season record with her 12th assist of the year.

The team will now play Washington-St. Louis, 2-1 winners over Allegheny, Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Both Otterbein and Calvin began to feel one another out early, as no shots were fired until the Knights missed wide in the 18th minute.

The teams exchanged shots and possession throughout the remainder of the opening half, and Otterbein saw a prime opportunity with less than two minutes to go before halftime when senior Lindsey Rudibaugh took a pass on the right side and beat two Calvin defenders. However, Calvin keeper Ashton Hearn trapped Rudibaugh's one-on-one shot between her legs to keep the match scoreless at the half.

Both sides saw a few chances in the second half, and Knox delivered the blow at the 85:13 mark by finding the incoming corner and sending a header to sneak in the left post.

It was the Cardinals' third game-winning goal in the last ten days that has occured late in the second half or in overtime.

"Everyone came together to find a way to win that set piece, and I'm glad I found myself free enough to score the goal and put us through," said Knox.

"This is the best time of year, and I'm super excited for the team to play another match on our home field, especially for the seniors" added Knox. "We get one more chance to make something exciting happen out here, so I can't wait to play."

Otterbein held a slim 8-6 advanatage in shots, and both teams attempted four corner kicks.

Hearn made five stops for the Knights while Otterbein goalkeeper Tara Carter came up with four saves.