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March 18, 2011

Cornell Women's Hockey Season Ends With 4-1 Loss In National Semifinals

Courtesy of Cornell Athletic Communications

ERIE, Pa. -- The Cornell women's hockey team's magical season came to an end on Friday night as the Big Red fell to Boston University in the national semifinals, 4-1, at Tullio Arena in Erie, Pa. Karlee Overguard scored the lone goal for the Big Red in the contest, as Cornell closed out its season with a 31-3-1 record.

Boston University (27-6-4) scored a pair of goals late in the second period just 50 seconds apart, breaking open a 1-1 deadlock and moving into the national championship game on Sunday against Wisconsin.

Rebecca Johnston and Amanda Young both collected an assist in the contest, while Amanda Mazzotta made 27 saves on the night for the Big Red.

For the Terriers, Jenelle Kohanchuk had a goal and an assist with Kathryn Miller picking up a pair of helpers. Catherine Ward, Jillian Kirchner and Holly Lorms each added a goal, with Marie-Philip Poulin, Taylor Holze, Jenn Wakefield and Kasey Boucher each tacking on one assist. Kerrin Sperry made 14 saves in earning the win.

Cornell took the 1-0 lead five and a half minutes into the contest when Young sprang Johnston with a pass up the boards to set up a three-on-two. Johnston then sent a pass to Overguard, who slipped a shot through the legs of Sperry to give Cornell the early lead. Boston tied the score just over five minutes later, as Ward fired a shot from the point that appeared to glance off a Cornell stick and over the shoulder of Mazzotta, as the first period ended tied at one.

Boston University controlled play for much of the second period, out-shooting the Big Red by a 10-2 margin in the period, and finally capitalized when Kirchner scored what turned out to be the eventual game-winner at the 17:47 mark of the period. Just 50 seconds later, Wakefield sprang Kohanchuk on a breakaway, and she back-handed a shot over the shoulder of Mazzotta, and stunning the Cornell contingent in the stands.

Cornell picked up the pace and controlled the flow of the game in the third period, but could not solve the stifiling, physical Terrier defense. Lorms would add an empty-net goal with 2:40 to play to seal away the final margin, as Boston University held a 10-7 edge in shots in the game's final 20 minutes.

With the loss, Cornell's season ends with a 31-3-1 overall record, as the Big Red set a Cornell hockey record for most wins in a season. The four members of the senior class of 2011 -- Hayley Hughes, Amber Overguard, Karlee Overguard and Katie Wilson -- close out their season having helped guide the program to national prominence, winning back-to-back ECAC Hockey and Ivy League championships and taking the program to consecutive Frozen Four appearances.