SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - The statistics may be misleading after the Tigers finished with the Denison field hockey squad. Despite several players taking massive amounts of shots, the Red & White of Wittenberg won on the strength of the team on Tuesday. Among many, freshman Marisa Myers (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) helped lead the team to a 4-3 overtime victory in the most dramatic comeback of the season.
After watching the first period, no one in the stands would have figured that to win this game, the Tigers would have to come back from a 3-1 deficit. But after Boo Vernon (Lake Bluff, Ill./Cushing Academy) scored off an assist from Tori Casanta (Mason, Ohio/Cor Jesu Academy) to start the scoreboard, it was all Denison.
In the remainder of the first half and throughout the second, Denison seemed to be doing everything right, as evidenced by three straight goals, one in the closing seconds of the first and two in the opening minutes of the second. Once the Tigers finally got a handle on the Big Red offense, it became a defensive stalemate. Strong play from the likes of Myers and Beth Vonderbrink (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) helped keep the Big Red from creating any more scoring opportunities.
But then Witt had an offensive explosion of its own, as Casanta found the cage twice in the last eight minutes of the game to dramatically bring the game to a tie and force both teams to prepare for extra minutes. Freshman Florine Dunki Jacobs (Heemstede, The Netherlands/Stedelyk Gymnasium Haarlem) proved to be crucial, setting up both Casanta goals.
In overtime it became apparent that both teams were tired, and Denison blinked first, allowing Vernon a lane up the left side of the field, where she dodged two defenders and charged towards the goal, shooting across the cage to score in the opposite corner and earning the Tigers a win.
Tuesday's game keeps playoff hopes afloat for the Red & White, now standing at 4-3 in the conference, and 7-5 overall. The next travel to Oberlin for a weekend game to continue battling in conference play.
Written By: John Strawn