Badgers Outlast Harvard

Wisconsin had little trouble with top-seeded Harvard, besting the Ivy Leaguers 4-1 to advance to the NCAA Championship game for the third straight season.

DULUTH, Minn. - Senior Jinelle Zaugg scored two goals while junior goalie Jessie Vetter made 33 saves as the No. 4 Wisconsin women's team tallied four unanswered goals and defeated top-seeded Harvard 4-1 Thursday night in the first semifinal of the 2008 NCAA Frozen Four at the DECC.

With the win, the two-time defending national champion Badgers advance to Saturday's NCAA championship game against the winner of Thursday's second semifinal between Minnesota Duluth and New Hampshire.

Although Harvard was able to get on the board first early in the opening period, the Badgers (29-8-3) responded with three goals in a seven-minute span early in the second. Junior Erika Lawler (Fitchburg, Mass.), sophomore Jasmine Giles (Ottawa, Ontario) and Zaugg (Eagle River, Wis.) all scored for UW in the first seven minutes of the middle stanza before Zaugg added a second early in the third period.

Sophomore Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.) tallied two assists in the contest, giving her 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in nine postseason contests, second only to Zaugg's 16 points (11 goals, five assists) in those games.

Harvard skated out to a 1-0 lead thanks to a power-play goal by Jenny Brine 4:42 into the opening period. Kati Vaughn fired a shot from the right point that took a deflection and Brine made no mistake in burying the puck at the left post for her 20th goal of the season.

The Badgers needed just 18 seconds of the second period to tie the game at 1-1 thanks to an outstanding individual effort by Lawler. The Fitchburg, Mass., native picked up the puck in the right corner, cut to the net and slipped a low backhander underneath Harvard goalie Christina Kessler for her 12th goal of the season.

Wisconsin took its first lead of the contest just 2:07 later on Giles' fifth goal of the season. Playing with an extra attacker due to a delayed penalty against the Crimson, Tia Hanson (Medicine Hat, Alberta) threaded a pass from the left circle to a wide-open Giles, who one-timed it past Kessler and into the upper right corner of the net.

The UW lead was pushed to 3-1 on a goal by Zaugg 6:56 into the middle stanza. Lawler held the puck in the left corner, then found Zaugg at the top of the left circle. Zaugg ripped a one-timer past Kessler for her first goal of the evening and 23rd of the season.

Zaugg capped off her sixth multi-goal game of the season 3:15 into the third period. Duggan carried the puck into the Harvard zone on a two-on-one and then slid a pass over to Zaugg, who redirected the puck past Kessler.

With the pair of goals, Zaugg improved her school record career goal total to 89 and moved within three points of third place on Wisconsin's career points list with 156.

The Badgers finished the game 0-for-2 on the power play while Harvard went 1-for-4.

Wisconsin will look for its third straight NCAA championship when it takes on either Minnesota Duluth or New Hampshire in the championship game Saturday at the DECC. Faceoff is slated for 12:30 p.m. with live coverage provided by CBS College Sports, formerly CSTV. Fans can also listen to the game live on 1070 WTSO in Madison and online at uwbadgers.com.


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