DaLuze gives Lowell NCAA championship

07/31/2007
By From the Boston Globe

Joanna DaLuze ended two years of frustration, and 92 minutes of tension, with a goal in double overtime, giving the UMass-Lowell field hockey team its first NCAA title.

The senior from Harwich stole the ball about 30 yards from the goal, dribbled past two defenders, and beat keeper Tracey Hudak low on the right side at 92:01, enabling the River Hawks to edge Bloomsburg, 2-1, yesterday in the NCAA Division 2 championship game in Shippensburg, Pa.

''I wasn't concentrating on scoring," DaLuze said. ''I was looking at getting a corner, or shooting for the pads and getting a deflection."

The third time was a charm for the River Hawks, who came close to the national title the past two seasons. Yesterday's game was a rematch of the 2003 championship, which Bloomsburg won, 4-1. Last season the River Hawks dropped a 3-0 semifinal match to Northeast-10 rival Bentley.

''This is unbelievable," coach Shannon Hlebichuk said. ''At the beginning of the season, I think we as coaches underestimated what kind of team we had and I think other teams underestimated us as well."

UML's Sara Hohenberger opened the scoring in the eighth minute, converting a pass from Courtney Hill for her 24th goal of the season.

River Hawk keeper Nicole Staiti stopped five shots in the first 15 minutes. At the end of the first half, Bloomsburg had the 10-5 advantage in shots and a 6-3 advantage in shots on goal, but the River Hawks clung to the 1-0 lead.

Bloomsburg's Maribeth Brozena tied the score on a penalty corner in the 64th minute.