April 15, 2009

Late Goal Lifts UConn over Holy Cross

from press release

STORRS, Conn. - Ashley Mitchelides (Hudson, Ohio) scored with less than two minutes remaining in University of Connecticut lacrosse's 10-9 victory over Holy Cross on Wednesday. In a game that featured three two-goal scorers for the Huskies, Mitchelides secured the win on senior night at George J. Sherman Family Sports complex.

Kiersten Tupper (Camillus, N.Y.), Kim McGinty (Huntington, N.Y.) and Whitney Michele (East Rochester, N.Y.) all scored two goals against the Crusaders. Tupper led the UConn offense with four points adding a pair of assists to her goal tally.

Mitchelides scored the unassisted gamewinner and won the draw control after Holy Cross came within one with 1:03 on the clock. Moments before the Huskies took the lead for good, Tupper scored her second of the game off a free-position shot to break the third tie of the game.

Anna Wallingford (Littleton, Colo.) protected that slim 9-8 lead with a stop against Meg O'Leary who had the shot after the Crusaders regained possession. O'Leary was scoreless, including 0-for-2 in free-position shots. Wallingford denied the Crusaders (6-6, 2-3) a free-position goal in four attempts.

Holy Cross' Kate Gardner, who led all scorers with four goals and two assists, tied the game 8-8 with less than six minutes to play in the second half. It was Katy Ryan (Hamburg, N.Y.) who put the Huskies back in the lead, 8-7 after a treacherous second half for Connecticut.

The momentum, once in the hands of the Huskies, shifted to the side of the Crusaders after the opening draw of the second half. Holy Cross scored five goals without a response from the Connecticut offense. UConn had held the opposition scoreless since the 14:44 mark of the first half before Cassie Rudden hit the back of the net three minutes into the second.

Wallingford robbed Annie Boylan, stalling the Crusaders comeback efforts. The UConn netminder finished the game with 12 saves. Holy Cross regained its composure as Megan Fenton tied the game 7-7 with a goal at 9:39 in the second half, capping off the five-goal run.

Connecticut (3-12, 2-4) jumped out to an early lead with M.E. Lapham (Cazenovia, N.Y.) tallying her 29th of the season less than three minutes into the game. McGinty put the Huskies up by two goals at 25:30.

The Crusaders tied it with a pair of goals 10 minutes apart before UConn rattled off five unanswered marks to end the first half with a 7-2 lead. Michele scored back-to-back goals while Tupper after adding an assist to Michele's second scored her own. Tupper's surpassed the 20-goal mark on the season at 8:19 for a 5-2 edge.

Katie Devaney (Fayetteville, N.Y.) and McGinty rounded out the scoring for Connecticut as the home team took the halftime lead for the fifth time this season.

The six graduating seniors of the Connecticut lacrosse program were acknowledged prior to the start of the game against Holy Cross. Senior co-captains McGinty and Michele along with classmates Jamie Antonious (Baltimore, Md.), Lauren Duffy (Madison, Conn.), Meghan Nanfeldt (Jacobstown, N.J.) and Ryan.

Connecticut's regular season comes to an end in South Bend, Ind. with a noon game on Saturday against No. 9 Notre Dame. Fans who were unable to attend Wednesday evening's game can watch all the action on Sunday at 7 p.m. on Cox Sports Network.

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