Zandbergen Sends ODU to Big East Championship with 4-3 Shootout Victory Over Temple

Pandemonium+on+the+field+after+Old+Dominion+punched+their+ticket+to+the+final+on+Sunday+afternoon.+

ODU Athletics

Pandemonium on the field after Old Dominion punched their ticket to the final on Sunday afternoon.

Benjamin Draper, Sports Editor

It took eight rounds in a shootout at the culmination of a nearly three-hour match for the Old Dominion field hockey team to earn a spot in the Big East tournament final on Sunday afternoon. Graduate Goalkeeper Cam Macgillivray poked-check the shot away in the top of round eight, giving her sophomore teammate Frederique Zandbergen the chance to make the winning move. Zanbergen flicked the ball into the back of the net and pandemonium ensued as the Monarchs defeated 24th-ranked Temple (13-6) 4-3 in the semifinals of the Big East tournament.

Graduate Goalkeeper Cam MacGillivray stands her ground against the oncoming penalty shot. (ODU Athletics)

Coming into the weekend, ODU was the number one seed of the tournament thanks to a victory over Liberty last weekend in a shootout. The Lady Monarchs improved their record to 15-2 (6-1 Big East). They have won ten straight matches and are ranked number 13 in the national coaches poll. With this victory, they have clinched their best record since 2011 and have made a strong bid for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. 

Throughout the first half of the match, the Old Dominion squad dominated most of the play, but they could not find the back of the net and the match remained tied at zero going into the half. Coming out of the break, the Owls stunned the Lady Monarchs with a pair of goals in the middle part of the third quarter that gave them a 2-0 advantage. Both goals against ODU came from breakaways that outnumbered the Monarch defense. In the closing seconds of the third quarter, graduate Courtney Lynch got ODU on the board after knocking in the rebound that made it 2-1 in favor of Temple.

Early on in the fourth quarter, Old Dominion kept up their momentum and tied the game with a goal from freshman Sanci Molkenboer with about ten minutes left on the clock. With just under five minutes to play, senior Delphine Le Jeune executed a penalty stroke that gave ODU the 3-2 advantage. Although the Lady Monarchs clawed their way back from two goals down to a tie, they found themselves in a deficit again when the Owls scored the tying goal with 2:20 left in the game. Macgillivray made three stick saves before the Owls finally punched it in on the ensuing rebound. The game remained at 3-3 as both teams prepared for Overtime. 

In the first overtime period, ODU came close to clinching a spot in the final as Lynch scored what was almost the winning goal, but it was just a split-second after the horn, resulting in no goal. Both teams remained tied through the first overtime period and it was once again time for a shootout. After seven rounds of back-and-forth in the shootout, the score remained tied. In round eight, Old Dominion prevailed and knocked in the game-winner to advance to the championship on Sunday afternoon.

The Lady Monarchs pose together for a picture after their victory over Temple. (ODU Athletics)

Zandbergen, a sophomore from the Netherlands, missed her first attempt of the shootout and knew that the game depended on her making the second shot. . “After I missed the first one, I didn’t want to miss the second,” Zandbergen said. “Temple is a very tough team. We worked so hard to get here. I’m very, very happy.”

After the match, head coach Andrew Griffiths shared his thoughts on the Temple squad and the state of the Big East conference. He also spoke about his team’s resiliency and how they can unite in pivotal moments.

“Temple really played well. They’ve really improved over the last two years. This is clearly the best four teams the Big East has had in a long time,” Griffiths stated. “It’s not about who has the best players. Everyone has good players, but it’s about how you can hang together when the chips were down and they were down today a couple of times, and we really came through.”

Next up for the Lady Monarchs is Championship Sunday, where they will host the Liberty Flames in the Big East final at L.R. Hill Sports Complex. The Flames earned a spot in the championship after defeating UConn 2-1 in the other semifinal on Friday evening. Match time is slated for 4 pm, with a conference title and spot in the NCAA tournament on the line.