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Maybe it was because Penn State was seeded 13th in the 2000 Women’s Division 1 Collegiate Championship. Or maybe the team remembered that three-years prior, the Nittany Lions had won this championship. In any case, Penn State defeated eastern rival Princeton 31-22 to take the 2000 Women’s college title. Maybe also, the victory came from twice having been defeated by Princeton in these finals in 1995 and 1996. Or maybe Penn State, under Coach Peter Steinberg, had been the best team all year.
The tournament took place in Tampa, Florida, in May 2000. When four teams moved through to the semi-finals, Stanford (1) lost to Penn State (13) 29-5, and Princeton (3) defeated upstart Illinois 36-7. Navy (2) and Marquette (4) had lost in the first round, the former to Chico State 17-10, and the latter to Penn State 10-3.
Both Penn State and Princeton advanced easily into the finals. The showdown would mark the third time these schools battled for the title. The Tigers scored first to make it 7-0 but Penn State bounced back to go ahead 19-17 at intermission.
In the second half, the Nittany Lions added seven more points to increase the lead to 26-17. Princeton managed on additional try to draw closer at 27-22.
Then came the try of the game when Penn State, starting at its own 22-meter line, moved around the blind side, and four offloads later, Amanda Gehman went in for the score. Final Penn State 31- Princeton 22.
Tiger head coach, Alex Curtis, said, “I was very impressed with the way Penn State played.”