National Championship to Virginia, 8-6, Over Princeton
NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTEBOOK
COLLEGE PARK, Md.--The defending national champion next season will be Virginia. The Cavaliers defeated Princeton on Sunday, 8-6 in overtime, in a game which closely paralleled the Crimson's loss.
The Tigers allowed Virginia to score first but reeled off the next forur goals to go up, 4-1--the same score Harvard was up by in Saturday's semifinal. And like Harvard, Princeton took a one-goal lead into the intermission, 4-3 instead of 6-5.
Lightning delayed the game twice in the second half, and the scoring came to a dead halt in the resulting mud. The Cavaliers scored two goals to the Tigers' one to send the game into overtime, 5-5.
Princeton scored first in the overtime, but Virginia scored three time--and the grand championship went to the Cavaliers.
Princeton had defeated Maryland, the 1992 champions, 7-6 in Saturday's other semifinal matchup.
A Rope, A Tree...: The small but vocal contingent of Crimson fans who traveled here to watch Harvard play Virginia in their semifinal contest were not the only ones who questioned some of the calls the officials mad throughout the game.
The Harvard spectators ranted and raved at the officiating, groaning each time the referees gave Virginia the ball at crucial moments of the game. But Harvard Coach Carole Kleinfelder was also surprised at the officials' interpretation of the rules Saturday.
In one crucial second-half series, Virginia received possession of the ball five straight times in the Harvard zone. Goalie Liz Williamson and the Crimson defense survived the first four Cavalier attempts but finally allowed Virginia to score. One particular call during that series irked Kleifelder.
"We didn't get any calls our way. Nothing went our way," Kleinfelder said. "Maybe they were all legitimate calls, but everything went their way. When that Virginia player's pass hit our player in the back, the referees called a body ball. I've never seen that call made."
Virginia Coach Jane Miller had no comment on the officiating. Her team still had one more game to play.
Chelius Ejected: The officials also gave sophomore Genevieve Chelius two yellow cards in the game. Chelius had to leave for the contest for good when she received her second card with about 15 minutes left in the game.
Chelius's first warning came after she inadvertently hit a Cavalier player in the face with her stick. Another minor foul earned Chelius the red card.
The sophomore from Lloyd Harbor, N.Y., scored a goal in the first half and provided the Crimson with solid defense as well.
"[Losing Chelius] hurt us because she was playing with a lot of fire," sophomore Megan Colligan said.
Inauspicious Start: Saturday's semifinal game between Harvard and Virginia started inauspiciously for both teams.
The Cavaliers appeared to have scored first when senior Heather Goehirger broke through the Crimson defense and slipped one past Williamson. Officials called the goal back, however, because Goehinger stepped into Harvard's crease before shooting.
The same thing happened to junior Jo Ann Alissi who tallied thirty seconds later but had her goal called back for a crease violation.
Berkery scored her only goal of the game one minute later, and this time it counted.
Right after Berkery tallied, Cavalier junior Nicole McNichol fell down with an injury to her shoulder. Officials called the paramedics, who examined her and escorted her off the the field. NcNichol returned to the game later in the half, however.