Tigers win KIT
Emily Lill, KIT MVP
Chris Brown, All-KIT
Katie Turrentine, All-KIT
Senior Chris Brown can't believe all this happened to her.
In one of the most pressure packed games of the season, she not only was facing a tough University of the South—Sewanee team, but she was playing her final game as a DePauw Tiger at McKeen Field in a new position.
All she did was score the lone goal in the Kentucky-Indiana-Tennessee championship game with 18:52 remaining to preserve the eighth-ranked Tigers (17-0) undefeated regular season.
“For us to finish the season undefeated is just awesome. I've been playing field hockey since fourth grade and to hear that ball thwack against the back of the goal was incredible,” said an astonished Brown.
Normally Brown plays in the middle of the field, but due to injuries to both starting wings Elissa Cady and Lisa Goecke, Brown was forced to move to the outside and lead the attack. With a little over 19 minutes left in the game the Tigers earned a short corner. Sophomore Cindy Davis fed a pass to sophomore wing Katie Turrentine, who was moved to the other wing. But Turrentine slipped and the ball rolled past the end line.
On the ensuing restart, Brown blocked the shot from a Sewanee defender. Brown quickly collected herself and put a shot from right outside the circle past the Sewanee goalie.
“I knew what had to be done today and I was able to do it,” Brown said. “I can't ask for a better game than to end my career at McKeen Field than this.”
Putting Brown and Turrentine at the wings turned out to be a smart move by DePauw interim coach Beth Wesolich. Both Brown and Turrentine were named to the all-tournament team for the Tigers.
Surprisingly, DePauw was able to score 12 goals in three games despite two of its top three scorers being injured. Cady is out for the season but Goecke will be re-evaluated on Tuesday. After an easy win over Lindenwood 7-0, the Tigers came out this morning and continued to dominate its opponents, this time defeating Bellarmine 4-0.
Four different players scored the four goals against Bellarmine. Added to Brown's goal against Sewanee and Wesolich has to be pleased with the production she's getting from her players.
“We're strong all around and I thought we could still pull through all of this,” Wesolich said about the injuries.
One concern for DePauw was the inability to finish several good chances in the first half. Sophomore Cindy Davis, who scored three goals against Lindenwood, crossed a ball to sophomore Cara Duckworth but she couldn't handle the pass.
Then with four minutes to go in the first half Turrentine sent a ball screaming against the mouth of the goal to teammate and KIT tournament MVP, Emily Lill, but the ball took a bad hop over Lill's stick and DePauw was held scoreless in the first half.
Yet Lill wasn't worried about DePauw not finishing its chances in the first half.
“I know we're a second-half team so I wasn't worried at first about not scoring,” Lill said.
Still when you're 35 minutes away from being undefeated for the season things can get a little tight. Couple that with the fact Sewanee beat the Tigers with a couple of last minute goals last year, makes this win all the more sweeter for DePauw.
“I've been waiting forever to play this game. I was so pumped up,” Lill said.
This game also eased goalie Liz Hamilton's mind, the goalie who gave up the two goals last year to Sewanee. This season Hamilton has been impossible to score on.
“I was having back-flashes to the game from last year when the game was almost over,” Hamilton said while clutching the tournament's first place trophy.
DePauw now looks forward to regionals next weekend and a likely match-up with Denison University who they beat 1-0 in overtime earlier in the season. Not having Cady available for next weekend will be tough to deal with, but one which Brown thinks the team will be ready for.
“We have 21 people on this team and there are 21 good players,” Brown said.
And Brown is one of their best.
|KIT results and all-tournament team