April 3, 2011

Niagara Notches Key MAAC Win over Manhattan

from press release

NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. -- Senior Alison Valerio scored the game-winning goal late in the game to push the Niagara women's lacrosse team (2-7-1) to a 9-8 victory over the visiting Manhattan Jaspers (3-7, 0-3 MAAC) on Senior Day at Niagara Field.

With the game tied at eight and less than eight minutes remaining, Valerio went to the attack. The senior cut to the net and beat Jaspers netminder Jayne Timo over her shoulder for the game-winning goal. Niagara utilized great ball possession throughout the rest of the game to secure the win.

"It was a great feeling to be able to help my team in such a clutch moment," Valerio said. "It was a very special day for me and it's nicer knowing that we were able to win."

Niagara opened the game with a bang, when Lauren Bowen put the Purple Eagles on the board just 16 seconds into the contest. The tight game went back and forth, with goals by Valerio, Paige Matecki and Emily French giving Niagara a slight 4-3 lead with 3:02 left in the first half.  Manhattan would tie the game with 52 seconds left in the first half, but a late free position goal by French gave Niagara a 5-4 halftime lead.

Powered by two Fran Pollastro goals, Niagara enjoyed a slim 7-5 advantage halfway through the second half, until Manhattan would score three goals in a span of 3:12 to take an 8-7 lead with 9:45 left in regulation. The Purple Eagles responded by tying the game 54 seconds, when Pollastro netted her team-high third goal of the game.

"Today was a gutsy win by this team," Head Coach Mike Mansour said. "The win keeps us in the hunt for the MAAC Tournament. We played a complete game and we need this effort to continue on the road if we want a chance at making the post-season."

Pollastro netted three goals and an assist for four points, while Nicole Karek scored three assists. Valerio and French each tallied two goals apiece. Patricia McTiernan made 11 saves in net for the Purple Eagles.

The Purple Eagles are back in action on Friday, April 8th when they begin a three-game road trip against Fairfield at 3 p.m.

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