Crimson Hawks defeat Lock Haven, earn first postseason berth in program history
Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 13:04
The Crimson Hawks entered last night’s game in a must win situation against No. 9 Lock Haven in order to make the postseason.
In a game where the seniors stepped up and took control, the end result was what IUP was looking for as it squeaked out a 14-13 victory.
“I am beyond proud of my team and my seniors for staying composed, working their hardest, and pulling off the biggest upset in program history,” IUP Head Coach Mindy Richmond said. “Their desire and goal to make playoffs for the first time translated through their play and hard work paid off.”
Lock Haven drew first blood and got off to an early 1-0 lead, but IUP senior Becca Vogt answered with two straight goals to put the Hawks ahead 2-1.
The scoring was back and forth for the remainder of the half, but the Hawks went into halftime with a 7-5 lead and the momentum.
“We really worked as a team and got it done when the season was on the line,” Richmond said. “We had a specific game plan, stuck to it, and really came together as a team to achieve our ultimate goal for the season.”
The Crimson Hawks opened up the second half, scoring five straight goals to extend their lead to 12-5.
Lock Haven has been a team that has played from behind before, and IUP knew that the game was far from over.
The Bald Eagles are the No. 9 team in the country for a reason. They went on a 7-0 scoring spree and tied the game at 12.
With 7:39 to play, Stephanie Bianco received a pass from Vogt and found the back of the net to regain the lead for the Hawks and stop the surge from Lock Haven.
Bianco would later add another goal to give the Hawks a little breathing room with time running out.
The Bald Eagles managed one more goal, but with less than five minutes to play the stingy Hawks defense wouldn’t give any ground and IUP sealed the victory.
“I always knew how much talent was in my team and knew that we could pull off an upset as long as we played consistently over two halves and played with confidence,” Richmond said. “The seniors truly shined and the team came together on both ends to battle the elements and the top ranked team in the conference.”
The victory puts the Crimson Hawks into the post season for the first time in program history.
“I could not be more proud of my girls for stepping it up and believing in themselves and believing in what we have worked so hard for,” Richmond said.
IUP (11-5, 7-4) have secured the No. 5 seed in the PSAC tournament, and will play the loser of tomorrows matchup between Mercyhurst and Gannon.
“It really shows what we are capable of and we are planning to bring that confidence and energy into playoffs,” Richmond said. “We know that we can compete with either team we will be facing in the first round, and will be working extremely hard to prepare for our postseason.”