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 Wednesday, November 6, 2002 24:51 EST

Freshman midfielder collapses, dies during game

[Associated Press]

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- A female freshman soccer player at Bowling Green died at the hospital after collapsing five minutes into a game Tuesday.

Leslie Dawley was away from the action when she fell during a Mid-American Conference tournament game against Buffalo. Trainers rushed on the field and tried to revive the 18-year-old player.

Teammates covered her with jackets before she was taken by ambulance to Wood County Hospital, where she died, nursing supervisor Mary Davis said. Bowling Green players were hugging and crying while Dawley lay on the field.

Davis said she did not know what caused Dawley's death. She said an autopsy would be done in the next few days.

"In light of today's tragic events, the game of soccer pales into insignificance,'' Bowling Green coach Andy Richards said. "However, with the wishes of the Dawley family and the women's soccer program, we will honor the memory of Leslie Dawley by playing against Buffalo.''

The university said the game will be resumed Wednesday.

"Soccer is what brought Leslie to Bowling Green,'' Richards said. "And, as hard as it is going to be to play that game, it is fitting to remember Leslie in the game she loves.''

Dawley, a 5-foot-4 midfielder from the Columbus suburb of Westerville, had six assists in 18 games this season.

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