Penalty Strokes Do In Tigers Against Sewanee In Marathon Game

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - In a rare occurence, the Wittenberg Tiger field hockey team lost to Sewanee in penalty strokes on Sunday, giving up the game-tying goal with just four minutes left in regulation and then losing 2-1 through two rounds of penalty strokes.

After leading most of the entire game, a late-game performance relapse by the Tigers forced the game into extra time. According to Wittenberg Head Coach Diana Kuser, the Tigers dominated during regulation with skill, but Sewanee's perserverance allowed them to send the game into overtime and led to the victory.

Through two overtime rounds, neither team could break the tie, forcing the game to rarely-seen penalty stroke rounds. Witt and Sewanee matched shots through the first round, which consists of five shooters taking one stroke each.

The second stroke round saw Sewanee jump out early, scoring twice in three strokes, while Witt only managed one goal in the first three. Both teams found net with the fourth stroke, and so Wittenberg needed Sewanee, first up, to miss their fifth stroke in order to have a chance to tie the penalty round. Their fifth shooter approached and scored the game winning goal, sealing the game and moving Wittenberg to 5-4 overall. The gametime officially clocked at about three hours, almost double the usual time for a regulation game.

Freshman goalkeeper Liana Began (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) saw her first minutes of the season in the second overtime round, and was tasked with keeping goal during the penalty stroke rounds, after starting goalkeeper Sarah Umberger (Concord, Ohio/Derryfield School) left the game.

Freshman phenom Boo Vernon (Lake Bluff, Ill./Cushing Academy) scored the Tiger goal early in the first period, while sophomore Erin Berger (Louisville, Ky./Ballard) and freshman Meredith Price (Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Country Day) came through with defensive saves.

Written by: John Strawn