Immediate Release: November 12, 2004
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.--Host Penn State (19-2-1) showed why it has been picked to win the NCAA Championship, overpowering Binghamton (14-6-1), 6-1, in an NCAA women's soccer first round game Friday night. The Bearcats, who were outshot 20-8, aided Penn State's cause with two 'own goals' in the first half. Penn State will now host Maryland, a 3-0 winner over Loyola, in a second-round matchup on Sunday.
The Nittany Lions opened the scoring just 5:50 into the contest when a Binghamton clearing attempt spun back into BU's goal instead. But less than three minutes later, senior striker Tatiana Mathelier (Pomona, N.Y.) evened the score for the Bearcats. Mathelier brought down a pass off the head of freshman linemate Kim Povill (Massapequa, N.Y) and beat the keeper from 12 yards outat the 8:34 mark. It was Mathelier's team-high ninth goal of the season and 24th and final tally of her stellar career.
Penn State reclaimed the lead 2:17 later, and tacked an a third goal at the 16:34 mark when another clearing attempt backfired on the BU defensive unit. In the second half, the Nittany Lions put the game out of reach with two goals in a 6:15 span early in the period, and added the final tally in the 78th minute.
Sophomore keeper Kristie Bowers (Rochester, N.Y.), who had registered three consecutive shutouts entering the game, was tested all night long, and recorded 10 saves.
"Penn State is a great team," head coach Jeff Leightman said. "I think we played hard tonight and gave it our all. We gave them three goals - two 'own goals' and a penalty kick. We did limit a lot of their chances in the second half and Kristie (Bowers) played a great game. She really only allowed three goals against a great offensive team.
Binghamton, which carried the America East championship banner into the NCAA tournament, ends its storybook season. The Bearcats, who were picked to finish eighth in the 10-team conference, captured the regular-season title and then outscored opponents 5-0 en route to the program's first America East title - all on display in front of a boisterous home crowd.
"It was a special year," Leightman said, reflecting on the season. "I'm really proud of this team. We took a huge step forward in success and hopefully we can keep that momentum going. We have a lot to build on, and though we lose three great senior leaders next year, we do have an excellent nucleus returning."
The NCAA appearance was Binghamton's first at the Division I level and first since 1996, when the then-Division III program advanced for the third time in six years.
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