Mercer proves her worth
Mercer proves her worth
Kazmaier runner-up leads Clarkson to NCAA crown
Cayley Mercer must not have been too happy about losing the voting for the Patty Kazmaier Award on Friday night. The forward from Exeter, Ontario, Canada scored two goals to lead the Clarkson University to a 3-0 win over Wisconsin, their second NCAA title in the last four years.
Shea Tiley was sensational in the net for the “Golden Knights”, making 43 saves for the championship-winning shutout.
“Shea has been phenomenal the entire year and through her entire three years at Clarkson,” coach Matt Desrosiers said. “Shea is a big-game goalie. She kept us in it tonight when we needed her to. It was just a great performance. In the setting and atmosphere of a national championship game, to have a performance like that is phenomenal.”
The Frozen Four finals were played in St. Charles, Missouri this year.
Mercer, who led all players with eight shots on goal in the game, has been a part of both winning teams, but this win was special. The goalie at the other end was the woman who was given the Kazmaier, Ann-Renee Desbiens. (The other runner-up was Swiss forward Lara Stalder of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.)
In all, Clarkson finished the season on a 23-game unbeaten streak.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Desrosiers said. “This group is a resilient bunch. We started the season off on a rocky foot a little bit with a losing record and then went the rest of the season losing one game since mid-October. It shows this team knew what it took to pull together.”
Savannah Harmon scored what proved to be the winning goal just 27 seconds into the second period on a power play. That score held through most of the game until Mercer gave Clarkson a cushion with a goal to make it 2-0 with 3:04 left in the game. It was Mercer’s 27th goal of the season to lead all scorers in Division I.
“There was a rush of emotion,” Mercer said. “I didn’t know how much time was left on the clock. The girls came at me so fast. We were kind of living in that moment. I knew it was a big goal to separate ourselves even further that late in the game. It was so exciting. You can’t put words to it.”
Mercer then added her 28th, an empty netter, at 19:16.
The Knights also won in 2014 while the University of Wisconsin has won four times, most recently in 2010/11.
Wisconsin (33-2-5) advanced to the final game with a 1-0 win over Boston College on Friday night thanks to a goal by Mellissa Channell with only 16.2 seconds remaining in the third period.
Clarkson (32-4-5) made it to the big game after defeating Minnesota 4-3. That game also was a nail-biter. Rhyen McGill scored the winner with only 1:31 left in regulation time.
NOTES: Emily Clark of Wisconsin is the only player from either team who will be heading to the Women’s World Championship in Plymouth, Michigan, starting 31 March… Frozen Four All-Tournament Team includes forwards Annie Pankowski, Wisconsin; Genevieve Bannon, Clarkson; Mercer, Clarkson. Defense: Channell, Wisconsin; Savannah Harmon, Clarkson. Goalie: Desbiens, Wisconsin. Most Outstanding Player: Cayley Mercer, Clarkson.
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