Ursinus Wins National Championship

GENEVA, N.Y., Nov. 19, 2006 – Lindsay Cappa (Oley, PA/Oley Valley) had a hand in every goal, scoring twice and assisting on the game winner to lead No. 8 Ursinus over No. 5 Messiah 3-2 for the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship.

After advancing to the semifinals just a year ago, the Bears (21-3) made their second straight trip worth their while and are returning with their first-ever national title in program history. As the lowest seed coming into the tournament, Ursinus pulled two-upset victories by identical scores of 3-2 for the championship crown.

Molly Stevens (Hummelstown, PA/Lower Dauphin) scored the game-winning goal in the 51st minute off a pass from Cappa and the defense held the Falcons (18-4) to just four shots in the second half for the win.

Lindsey Hunter and Tiffany Leatherman tallied a goal apiece for Messiah, who drops to 0-6 all-time in the title game.

The score at halftime proved the even first-half battle. Both teams exchanged quick goals, but the Bears went ahead momentarily before the Falcons added a second goal to make it 2-all at intermission.

With just 6:21 gone in the opening half, Lisa Strausbaugh dribbled the ball from the right side to the end line and made a diagonal pass to Leatherman in the circle for a 1-0 lead on Messiah’s first shot of the afternoon.

Moments later, Jess Rogers (Selinsgrove, PA/Selinsgrove) took a pass from Kait Sutherland (Perkiomenville, PA/Perkiomen Valley) inside the circle and sent it towards the goal near Cappa, where it went off a defenders stick to knot the game at 1-all.

Cappa gave the Bears their first lead with her second unassisted goal of the day and 12th this season after sending the ball in from the left side and deflecting off another Falcon defender’s stick to make it 2-1.

On Messiah’s third penalty corner in the 29th minute, Hunter made the initial pass to Lindsay Garber and got it back for the goal that tied it for a second time.

After halftime, Ursinus controlled the pace of the game and held a 9-4 shot advantage. Cappa had her shot stopped with a defensive save by Mary Hoover to start the half, but five minutes 20 seconds later she found Stevens, who sent a point-blank shot past goalie Ashley Mowery for the game winner.

Jess Lamina (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks West) stopped the Falcons from getting the equalizer with a stick save on a Leatherman shot in the 55th minute.

Only down by one, Messiah kept the pressure on in the final minutes and turned a free hit into the penalty corner with 1:14 showing on the clock.

Hunter managed the final shot for the Falcons, but defender and all-tournament team selection Allison Doutt (Willow Street, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) was there to make the stop and clear the ball out with 57 seconds left.

Lamina, also named to the all-tournament team, made two saves for the Bears. Karen Wendler (Burlington, NJ/Burlington) and Cappa also represented Ursinus on the all-tournament team.

This is the fourth time the Bears have earned a spot in the national championship game, making appearances from 1975-77 as a Division I program.

Score by Period 1 2 - F
(5) Messiah (18-4) 2 0 - 2
(8) Ursinus (20-3) 2 1 - 3

M – Tiffany Leatherman (Lisa Strausbaugh), 6:21
U – Lindsay Cappa, 7:53
U – Cappa , 17:25
M – Lindsey Hunter (Lindsey Garber), 28:55
U – Molly Stevens (Cappa), 50:44

Shots: M 9, U 16. Penalty Corners: M 6, U 4. Saves: M 7 (Ashley Mowery); U 2 (Jess Lamina).