Bowling Green, Ky. (11/8/03) Lleane Grimditch scored a goal in the 95th minute to give Denver the 2003 Hardee’s Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship, 1-0, over North Texas on Saturday.
It was fourth consecutive year that North Texas has played in the conference's tournament championship game. For Denver, it marked the Pioneers’ third straight Sun Belt crown.
Denver (18-3) will receive the Sun Belt’s automatic bid to the 2003 NCAA Tournament, which begins on Friday (Nov. 14). The brackets will be announced on Monday. North Texas ended its season at 15-6-1.
“It’s an exciting way to win a game and a championship,” said Denver head coach Jeff Hooker. “Defensively we were very solid throughout the tournament, not giving up any goals in three games. We didn’t go deep in the bench, but we had some great legs and nobody gave up.”
Both defenses were solid in the first half of play, as the two teams combined for just eight shots in the period. Denver put three shots on goal, compared to just one for North Texas. However, neither team was able to put a goal on the scoreboard as the teams went into halftime tied 0-0.
Denver went on the offensive early in the second period, but was still unable to break into the scoring column. Despite a 10-5 shot advantage in the period, the Pioneers only put three shots on goal, equaling the Mean Green’s total. Neither team netted a goal, sending the match to overtime.
Just five minutes into the extra session, Diana Brunkhardt found Grimditch in the box, and she fired a shot from ten yards out for the match-winning goal.
Goals by period 1 2 OT Total
North Texas 0 0 0 0
Denver 0 0 1 1
1. 94:31 DEN Grimditch, Lleane (Brunkhardt, Diana)
Shots: Denver 17, North Texas 8
Saves: Denver (Wiley, Danielle 4); North Texas (Buchanan, Briana 7)
All-Sun Belt Conference Tournament Team
Jeni Harris, Sr., F, Denver
Lleane Grimditch, Fr., F, Denver
Laura Mann, Fr., M, Denver
Jamie Norwood, Sr., D, Denver
Laura Miguez, Jr., F, Middle Tennessee
Danielle Perreault, So., GK, Middle Tennessee
Marilyn Marin, Sr., F, North Texas
Melinda Pina, Jr., F, North Texas
Caree Ridenhour, Sr., M, North Texas
Andrea Doogs, Jr., M, Western Kentucky
Crystal Chapon, Jr., F, Western Kentucky
Most Outstanding Player Grimditch