No. 16 Lindenwood University Trips Miami University (Ohio) 9-5 to Finish in Tie for 13th at National Collegiate Club Championship

Meghann Kopecky
Meghann Kopecky

NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Meghann Kopecky (Fr., Harare, Zimbabwe) and Dee Fleuriot (Sr., Durbin, South Africa) both tallied four goals to share Player of the Game honors and lead No. 16 Lindenwood University to a 9-5 win against Miami University (Ohio) in one of two 13th place contests at the 2011 National Collegiate Club Championship hosted by the University of Notre Dame.

Due to a 16-team field requiring significant playing time to finish out the full-number of slots in the bracket, and to minimize the quantity of missed class time by student-athletes participating in the championship, the 13th and 15 place spots in the field are not played out unless two pools are available at the site of the championship.  Last season, the 13th and 15th spots were played to a conclusion as the University of Arizona possessed two pools, recreation and varsity facilities, that allowed each team to receive four games.

Against the RedHawks, Lindenwood took an early 2-0 lead thanks to tallies by Kopecky and Fleuriot with 6:05 and 2:13 remaining in the first period.  Miami (Ohio) closed the gap to a single score thanks to Foster as she scored with six seconds remaining in the first period and registered another tally with 3:54 left in the second period to knot the score at two-all.

The tie lasted for 17 seconds as Kopecky slipped through the RedHawks' defense for a shot which sailed into the cage at 3:37 before Fleuriot closed the first half's offense with her second marker of the evening to set the scoreboard at 4-2 in favor of the Lions.

A 4-0 scoring run in the third period widened the gap to 8-2 as Fleuriot (6:25, 1:42), Kopecky (2:39) and Kayla Kutinac (So., Orland Park, Ill.) (5:40) terrorized the Miami defense for four scores during the seven-minute frame to help pluck RedHawks' wings.

Miami attempted to climb back into the game in the fourth period as Sayali Sakhardande (Fr., Hoffman Estates, Ill.) chipped in a score at 3:13 and Foster polished off a hat-trick with tallies at 1:48 and 1:19, but Kopecky deposited her fourth shot of the day into the rear of the cage at 2:08 to minimize the damage and help preserve the Lions four-goal victory.

Key in Lindenwood's victory was the team's ability to keep Miami from converting on even one of its man-up chances as the RedHawks finished the game 0-for-4 against the goalie combination of Kelsey Novotny (Jr., Wheaton, Ill.) and Zara Wysockey (Fr., Wilmette, Ill.).

The RedHawks' tie for 15th place marks a strange occurrence in the history of the championship as Miami becomes the first 16th seed team, which the RedHawks garnered in light of finishing as the Midwest Division runner-up and taking the University of Notre Dame's guaranteed 16th place seed for serving as the host institution after the Irish captured the division crown, to finish 15th.  Through 11 years of championships, No. 16 teams had placed ninth (2000, 2010), eighth (2001), 11th (2002), 12th (2003, 2005), fifth (2004), 10th (2006) and 13th (2007, 2008, 2009).

On the other end of the tank, CJ Cherry (Fr., Eagleville, Tenn.) recorded five saves in taking the win for the Lindenwood as the Heartland Division champion Lions recorded the program's top finish at the National Collegiate Club Championship.  Prior to the 2011 season, the Lions' best marks were ties for 15th place at the 2007 and 2008 events.

1 2 3 4 -- Final
Miami University (Ohio)
1 1 0 3 -- 5
No. 16 Lindenwood University 2 2 4 1 -- 9

Lindenwood Goals: Dee Fleuriot (4); Meghann Kopecky (4); Kayla Kutinac

Miami Goals: Megan Foster (4); Sayali Sakhardande

Saves: Lindenwood - CJ Cherry (5) ; Miami - Kelsey Novotny (6), Zara Wysockey (1)

Exclusions: Lindenwood - 4 ; Miami - 5

Advantage Opportunities:  Lindenwood - 1-for-5 ; Miami - 0-for-4

Sprints: Lindenwood - 2-for-4 ; Miami - 2-for-4

Cards: None

Officials: Perry Korbakis, Kristin Stanford 

Lindenwood University's Meghann Kopecky defends against Alex Thiele of Miami University (Ohio)

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