Oct. 28, 2001


Lakers hand No. 1 Norse first loss of the season

WILDER, Ky. - Julia Kowzan’s goal off a direct kick early in the second half Sunday afternoon lifted Mercyhurst (Pa.) College to a 1-0 upset of previously unbeaten Northern Kentucky University at the Town & Country Sports Complex.

Kowzan’s goal, a 25-yard blast that sailed past NKU goalie Megan Zalla, came at the 57:06 mark and broke a scoreless tie. Mercyhurst goalie Meghan Frey, who finished with three saves, recorded the shutout as the Lakers (14-2-1) handed NKU (17-1) its first regular-season loss since Aug. 27, 2000.

NKU - ranked No. 1 nationally in the NCAA Division II poll - penetrated the Mercyhurst defense several times during the first half and had three excellent opportunities to score. Frey, however, stopped one potential goal with a save, and two other NKU shots were just wide.

Prior to Sunday’s setback, NKU had not lost a home match since the 1998 season. The Norse also owned four consecutive wins against Mercyhurst until Sunday’s loss.

The Norse will be the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament and host the Great Lakes Valley Conference semifinals and finals Nov. 3-4 at the Town & Country Sports Complex in Wilder, Ky. NKU will play Nov. 3 against the winner of the University of Indianapolis/Saint Joseph’s College match, which will be played at Indianapolis on Oct. 31.

NKU is also ranked No. 1 in the Great Lakes Region poll. Ashland University, 12-0-1 with a tie against Mercyhurst, is No. 2 in the poll. Wisconsin-Parkside is No. 3 and Mercyhurst is No. 4.

The top three teams in the Great Lakes Region poll will advance to the NCAA Division II Tournament. The latest rankings will come out Monday night.