Nov. 16, 2002

NKU DEFEATS ASHLAND, 2-1 IN OT

Norse improve to 20-0-2, capture NCAA II Great Lakes Region title

WILDER, Ky. - Kristen Noakes converted a penalty kick six minutes into the first overtime Saturday afternoon as the Northern Kentucky University women’s soccer team defeated Ashland University, 2-1, to capture the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region championship at the Town & Country Sports Complex.

With the score tied at 1-1, NKU’s Bessie Black was taken down and held in the penalty box by Ashland goalie Patti Cooke. Cooke was assessed a yellow card on the foul, and NKU was awarded a penalty kick at the 96:33 mark.

Noakes then drilled the penalty kick past Cooke into the left corner of the goal for the victory. It was the 11th goal of the season for Noakes, who is a graduate of Dixie Heights High School.

NKU, now 20-0-2 and ranked No. 1 nationally in the NCAA Division II poll, secured its fourth consecutive 20-win season and advanced to the NCAA Division II national quarterfinals. NKU will play host to the University of Nebraska at Omaha (20-0) at 1 p.m. next Saturday (Nov. 23) at the Town & Country Sports Complex in the national quarterfinals.

The winner of that match will advance to the NCAA Division II Final Four, which will be held Dec. 6-8 at Virginia Beach, Va. NKU is seeking its fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Final Four.

Black gave NKU a 1-0 lead Saturday at the 55:02 mark by finishing off a cross from Carey Hebbeler. Ashland (15-2-2), however, responded at the 69:18 mark when Maria Manzo’s 12-yard shot deflected off NKU goalie Megan Zalla into the net to tie the score at 1-1.

NKU finished with an 8-6 edge in shot attempts on Saturday. The Norse also attempted seven corner kicks, compared to four for Ashland.

It marked the second straight season that NKU has eliminated Ashland from the NCAA Tournament.

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Kristen Noakes