ASHEVILLE, NC - An overtime tally by freshman midfielder Kim Obermeier (Depew, NY/Depew) in the 96th minute snapped a scoreless tie and delivered the USCAA National Championship to Daemen College today, as the sixth-seeded Wildcats knocked off top-seeded, defending national champ Maine-Fort Kent 1-0 at the J.B. Lewis Soccer Complex.
Obermeier carried the ball from just inside midfield, went around a UMFK defender and launched a hard, high shot that beat Lady Bengal goalkeeper Kimika Forbes, sending the Wildcat faithful who traveled to the game into a frenzy while the team swarmed the field and mobbed their freshman hero.
The Maine-Fort Kent Lady Bengals (17-1 overall) were thwarted in their quest for back-to-back championships as the Wildcats snapped their 33-game winning streak. The Lady Bengals had beaten Daemen (11-9 overall) three times in the regular season this year - all one-goal affairs - and the familiarity between the two teams played out on the field, but this was Daemen's time to shine.
It was an evenly played game with Daemen putting six of its' 15 total shots on frame while Maine-Fort Kent had seven shots on goal in 16 attempts.
Kayla Hampton (DeRuyter, NY/DeRuyter) stood tall in goal once again. After missing two games in mid-October due to injury, Hampton's return sparked the Wildcats to four shutouts in their final five games, including today's blanking of Maine-Fort Kent. The sophomore net-minder turned away all seven Lady Bengal shots on goal this afternoon.
"Our backs were absolutely fantastic today," said Daemen head coach Dan Dolan, applauding the play of defenders Hannah Fraser (Milton, VT/Milton), Meghan Diehl (Webster, NY/Webster Thomas) and Meghan Lipinoga (North Tonawanda, NY/North Tonawanda).
"Kim got a little space and was able to rocket a shot into the top of the net. No keeper would have saved that shot," Dolan added.
He continued, "Kayla came up huge moments before Kim's game-winner. I'm proud of the entire team and to be able to watch them really grow up over the course of this season has been a joy."