March 22, 2011

Niagara and Gannon Play to 12-12 Tie

from press release

ERIE, Pa. - The Niagara women’s lacrosse team forced overtime with two goals in the final 25 seconds of regulation, before the NCAA Division I club and No. 9 Gannon played to a 12-12 three-overtime tie Tuesday night during snowy and wet conditions at Gannon University Field.

Gannon seemed to be in control after a 6-1 run in the second half. Trailing, 6-5, the Lady Knights rolled off four consecutive goals to assume a 9-6 lead with 11:49 left in regulation. Caitlyn Fisher (Cypress, Texas/Cy-Fair), Jess Fugate (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster), Mary Eshenour (Waterloo, N.Y./Waterloo) and Rachel DerCola (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) accounted for the scoring.

Niagara momentarily stopped the momentum with Rianne Farrugia’s goal at the 10:52 mark, but Gannon quickly answered with back-to-back goals by Kimberly Neagle (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) and Fugate. The last score gave the Lady Knights an 11-7 lead with 7:55 to play.

However, the visitors didn’t go down without a fight. Niagara cut the deficit to 11-9 with goals at the 3:27 and 2:44 marks. Gannon still held possession with under a minute to play, but turned the ball over with 33 seconds left. The Purple Eagles gained control and raced down field. Fran Pollastro ended the run with 25 seconds left, recording her fourth goal of the match.

Niagara then won the ensuing draw control, before Lauren Bowen scored with five seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.

Gannon scored the only goal of the first half of the initial overtime. Fisher netted her second of the match with 59 seconds left in the stanza. As they did at the end of regulation, the Lady Knights had possession late in second half of the first overtime with a lead. But Niagara goalkeeper Jen Zandio made a save on a Gannon shot with 2:06 left and the Purple Eagles immediately tied the match one minute later on Emily French’s second goal of the evening.

Gannon initially lost the opening draw control of the first sudden-death overtime session, but immediately regained possession after a turnover. The Lady Knights fired off four shots during the stanza, but saw all four shots sail wide. They held possession for all but 18 seconds of the period. However, the Lady Knights were not able to find the back of the net and forged into a second sudden-death overtime session.

Niagara got off the only shot of the second sudden-death period, but Margaret Maslyn (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan Academy) recorded the save with 1:37 left. The two teams combined for three fouls and four turnovers during the remainder of the period.

After one overtime session that consisted of two three-minute periods and two sudden-death periods were unable to decide a winner, the two teams finished in a 12-12 tie. It marked only the second tie in the program’s 16-year history.

Fugate and Eshenour led the Gannon charge with three goals each. Fisher added two goals while dishing out three of the team’s four assists. Sarah Grzybinski (New Market, Md./Linganore) also found the back of the net twice. Neagle and DerCola each scored once.

Gannon out-shot Niagara 46-25, but managed only 27 of those shots on goal. Maslyn recorded 10 saves in the tie, including five in the first half.

Head coach Steve Wagner’s club, ranked ninth in the latest Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) national rankings, moved to 5-1-1 with Tuesday’s stalemate. Niagara is now 1-5-1. Gannon returns to action Friday, March 25 at eighth-ranked West Chester. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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