(Posted September 16, 2006)

Juniata 3, Widener 2 (OT) HUNTINGDON, Pa. ? The Juniata College field hockey team found itself just minutes away from its first loss of the season, but Kim Wagner (Middletown/Middletown) scored late in regulation and then Michelle Campbell (Northern Lebanon/Annville) scored the game-winner three minutes into overtime to give the Eagles a 3-2 victory over visiting Widener in Commonwealth Conference action in Huntingdon Saturday afternoon. Juniata improved to 5-0 on the season while Widener dropped to 3-2 on the season. The match was the conference opener for both teams. With the victory Juniata matched its best-ever start to a season. It is the fourth time the program has opened a season with five-straight victories, and the first time since 2004 when the team earned its first-ever NCAA Tournament bid. The 5-0 start was in jeopardy late in the game as Widener held a 2-1 lead throughout the second half, and fought off several Juniata scoring chances. The Eagles finally knotted it up with four minutes remaining as Wagner scored her team-leading 10th goal of the season to send the match into overtime. The Eagles remained on the offensive in the extra session, and did not waste much time in earning the winner as Campbell stole the ball in midfield and then blasted a shot from the center of the scoring circle that beat Widener keeper Katie Heritage. Juniata got on the board first in the game as three minutes in the home team got a corner and was able to capitalize. Heather Hassinger (Middleburg/Middleburg) took the shot from the point and Meredith Low (Sun Valley/Aston) was able to redirect the shot into the back of the net to give the Eagles the early 1-0 advantage. Widener would then go on the offensive and have several good scoring chances none of which resulted in a goal for the Pioneers until the 21st minute when Widener on an unassisted goal from Arlene Lowthert to tie the score at 1-1. With just under nine minutes to go in the first half the Pioneers would take the lead as Lowthert this time found Jamie Carr who found the back of the cage to put Widener up 2-1 at the break. Widener controlled the tempo and offense in most of the first half and could have led 3-1, but had a goal disallowed due to a high stick. Abby Funk (Lewisburg/Lewisburg) was solid throughout the game in goal for Juniata making key saves to keep the Eagles within striking distance. In the second half the tempo and pace of the game was predominately controlled by the blue and gold. Juniata had a chance early to tie the game as they were awarded a penalty shot when Heritage was called for holding the ball. Bobbi Rickenbaugh (East Juniata/McAlisterville) however, was unable to get the shot on goal and the Pioneers held to a 2-1 advantage. Both teams had chances through the rest of regulation before the Eagles got the equalizer late in the game. Funk finished with five saves for the Blue and Gold while Heritage recorded 15 stops for Widener. Juniata is back in action on Wednesday when they host Villa Julie for a non-conference contest. ###

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