Tigers Top Allegheny In Battle For League Lead
MEADVILLE, Pa. - Sixty minutes weren't enough for Wittenberg and Allegheny to settle things. It took an overtime session for the Tigers to take control, as Wittenberg scored all three goals after regulation to secure a clutch 15-12 road victory.
The win was Wittenberg's 17th in a row in North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), and it will rank as one of the most significant. Allegheny came into the game with a perfect 10-0 record and designs on taking firm control of the league's regular season title chase, but it was Wittenberg that emerged atop the standings as the Tigers improved to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in the NCAC.
Allegheny jumped on top with the first three goals of the game, and the Gators appeared to be in great position after taking a 7-1 lead with just 6:59 left before halftime. Wittenberg managed to whittle the lead down to 9-5 by intermission.
The Tigers flipped the script to start the second half, outscoring the host team 5-1 over the first 10 minutes to tie the game at 10-10. Over the next 13 minutes, the teams traded four goals before a scoreless final 7:53. That led to overtime, and goals by senior Alie Marousek (Ballston Lake, NY/Portsmouth (NH), sophomore Olivia Lash (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Cleveland Heights) and junior Logan Warye (Maineville, Ohio/Kings).
In beating the second straight top league rival, the headlines will be offense but the back story is the continued fine play of sophomore goalkeeper Katie Reuter (Cleveland, Ohio/Hathaway Brown). She posted her third straight career-high saves total, this time turning aside 17 Allegheny shots to backstop the Wittenberg victory.
Reuter's play was particularly big in overtime as she made two saves and held the Gators scoreless. For the game, Allegheny held a 48-30 advantage in shots.
Offensively, junior Beth Hubbard (West Hartford, Conn./Notre Dame de Sion (Mo.)), senior Francine Murzynski (Mentor, Ohio/Lake Catholic) and Lash led the way with three goals apiece. Marousek and Warye added two goals each, and Warye was tops in assists with three.
Murzynski stuffed the box score as usual, adding four ground balls and seven draw controls. Freshman Becca Joseph (Toledo, Ohio/St. Ursula) also picked up four ground balls, and Warye chipped in with five draw controls.