ODU makes field hockey final four

Published 9:08 pm Monday, November 14, 2011

No. 2-seeded Old Dominion reached the Final Four of the NCAA Field Hockey Championships with victories on Saturday and Sunday in Norfolk, beating Ohio State 5-0 and Duke 2-1.

ODU (22-2) cruised through its opening match of the tournament. Freshman midfielder Kelsey Smither (Lakeland) had an assist in the win over the Lady Buckeyes.

The Lady Monarchs beat Duke for the second time in three meetings this season and this was the first contest that didn’t need overtime.

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Smither assisted to Kati Nearhouse, who tipped Smither’s pass into the goal from the left side of the cage, for the go-ahead goal with 7:20 remaining in the match.

“I was just in the right place, at the right time. It was exciting, but it wouldn’t have happened without the whole team. All I did was tip it in,” Nearhouse said.

The two assists give Smither 13 for the season along with four goals.

ODU advances to play No. 3 Maryland in the national semifinals at Louisville’s Trager Stadium on Friday. The Lady Monarchs beat Maryland 4-0 in Norfolk in September, then 5-2 in College Park, Md. in October.

The other semifinal pits No. 1 North Carolina against No. 4 Connecticut. The national championship is set for Sunday.

Old Dominion is in the Final Four for the first time since 2005 and is going for its first national championship since 2000.


Norfolk State won its first-ever outright Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) football championship on Saturday with a 47-14 win at Morgan State.

With the Spartans leading 30-14 in the third quarter, junior Tyrece Shepherd (Lakeland) caused a Morgan State fumble on a kickoff and the Spartans recovered on the Bear 1-yard line. The Spartans scored a touchdown from there.

Freshman defensive lineman George Riddick (King’s Fork) had two tackles for the Spartans.

Two more former Suffolk standouts are on the NSU roster: junior running back Bryant Bailey (King’s Fork) and sophomore offensive lineman Steven Beard (Nansemond River)

The Spartans (9-2, 7-1) clinched a Football Championship Subdivision playoff berth with the MEAC championship. NSU is ranked No. 22 nationally. It’s the first conference title for Spartan football since winning the 1984 CIAA championship.


Winston-Salem State won the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Championship on the gridiron with a 38-18 win over Elizabeth City State in Durham, N.C. on Saturday.

Junior wide receiver Darryl Freeney (Nansemond River) had two receptions for 33 yards for WSSU.

The Rams led 24-6 at halftime. ECSU closed within 24-18 before WSSU scored two touchdowns and a safety for 14 points in the last 7:10 of the game.

The Rams (11-0) and the Vikings (8-3) made the NCAA Div. II Championships. ECSU travels to play California (Pa.) in the first round on Saturday. WSSU, the No. 4 seed nationally, has a bye through the first round and will host a round of 16 game on Saturday, Nov. 26.


Sophomore guard Terika Lunsford (Lakeland) had six points and four rebounds in the first start of her career at Liberty as the Lady Flames opened their basketball season with a 61-46 win at UNC-Greensboro on Friday.

Lunsford transferred from Albany to Liberty two seasons ago. She sat out the first semester of the 2010-11 season, then played in 11 games for Liberty.

Liberty hosts Virginia Commonwealth Tuesday at 7 p.m.


South Carolina State started its women’s basketball season with a win and a loss. SCSU beat Claflin 76-59 on its home floor in Orangeburg on Friday before going to ACC power Clemson and falling 83-38 on Sunday.

Junior point guard Trinese Fox (Nansemond River) scored 10 points for the Lady Bulldogs against Claflin. Fox scored seven points against Clemson.

SCSU hosts Presbyterian on Saturday.


The Citadel went 1-1 in the All Military Classic at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Bulldogs lost 103-100 to longtime rival Virginia Military on Friday, then beat Army 83-72 on Saturday.

In his first games with The Citadel, freshman guard Ashton Moore (Nansemond River) came on as a sub and contributed in a big way for the Bulldogs.

Moore played 32 minutes and had 12 points and five assists against the Keydets. He had seven points and three assists in 25 minutes against the Black Knights. Moore made 2-of-7 three-pointers in the two games.

The Citadel hosts Clemson on Wednesday at 7 p.m.


Looking to build off of reaching the Sweet Sixteen a season ago, Marquette opened its hoops season with a 91-37 win over Mt. St. Mary’s in Milwaukee Saturday.

Sophomore forward Davante Gardner (King’s Fork) had eight points and three rebounds off the bench for Marquette.

The Golden Eagles were 22-15 overall and 9-9 in the Big East last season. In the NCAA Tournament, Marquette upset No. 6-seed Xavier and No. 3 Syracuse.

Marquette hosted Norfolk State Monday night. Marquette will play three games in four days in the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands starting Friday.