By Bud Denega
ADA — Junior forward Jenna Fuller (Countryside, Ill./Lyons Township) has enjoyed a memorable 2019-20 season. She has scored the most goals by an ONU player in a single season since 1997, and she added to that total in thrilling fashion Saturday night at Kerscher Stadium.
Fuller netted her 20th score of the season in 102nd minute, which pushed the Polar Bears past Otterbein 2-1 in double overtime in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament title game.
"Jenna is special," ONU head coach Mark Batman said. "… All she needs is two seconds and that's what great goal scorers do. They show up at the right time, when you need them the most, and that's what she did. I couldn't be happier for her."
The OAC Tournament championship is Northern's third in school history and first since 2017. That punches the Polar Bears' ticket to the NCAA Tournament. They'll learn who their opponent is and where the game will be played Monday at 1 p.m.
"For the seniors, especially with it being their last season, it's definitely nice that we are going to able to continue this on to the NCAA Tournament," Fuller said. "It's really special for them."
Fuller scored the game-winner off a feed from senior Rose Nienaber (Cincinnati/Oak Hills). ONU junior Sydney Leshnak (Cincinnati/Mount Notre Dame) provided the game's first score. She found the back of the net off a pass from junior Megan Breier (Plainfield, Ill./North) in the 75th minute.
Northern's lead was short-lived, however. Delaney Earl boasted the equalizer for Otterbein, as she took it in unassisted in the 77th minute.
The Polar Bears out-shot the Cardinals 21-14, as both teams recorded four shots on target. Breier and Fuller had six shots apiece, while Earl led Otterbein with five shots.
ONU senior goaltender Meagan Grierson (Dayton/Miamisburg) registered three saves. Otterbein goalie Erin Gordon recorded a pair of saves.
Grierson, Leshnak, Fuller and senior Haley Moses (Mason) all were honored as part of the OAC All-Tournament Team.