April 8, 2011

Late Goal Leads Siena Over Manhattan

from press release

RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Senior Phelicia VanOverbeke scored the game-winning goal with 18 seconds remaining and the Manhattan women's lacrosse team rallied late to defeat Siena 12-11 Friday evening at Gaelic Park.

In a battle of two teams looking for their first conference victory, the Lady Jaspers (4-7. 1-3 MAAC) and Saints (5-6, 0-2 MAAC) needed all 60 minutes to determine a winner, with each team holding several leads throughout the contest.

A high scoring affair, junior attacker Chrissy Gutenberger and fellow classmate Elizabeth Dugan each had four goals for Manhattan while attacker Deirdre McQuillan notched four tallies for Siena.

"We knew we had to come out with a fire lit in us," Coach Victoria Latino said. The team really got up for this game and made sure they did everything they could to come out victorious. After Siena retook the lead, we continued to battle back and showed tremendous heart in never giving up."

Opening the game, Siena and Manhattan would exchange scores in the first five minutes. McQuillan got the offense started when she gave the Saints a 1-0 advantage on a free position shot at the 28:21 mark. Answering back with two goals, Gutenberger and Dugan found the net twice in 35 seconds to push Manhattan up 2-1 with 25:54 remaining in the period.

Showing they could put together a big run, the Saints capitalized on their opportunities, scoring four of the next five goals in a four-minute span to take a 5-3 advantage with 17:17 left on the clock.

At the 12:48 mark, the Lady Jaspers would go on a run of their own, finding the net five times in the remainder of the period to take an 8-6 lead into the break. Gutenberger got the run started with a free position shot before Dugan made good on her penalty opportunity 38 seconds later to tie it at 5-all.

After Siena regained the lead on a goal by Erin Hepper, VanOverbeke, senior attacker Julia Lavelle and Dugan would each tally in the final 2:40 to build a two-goal lead heading into the second period.

In the final 30 minutes, each team found their stride, going on respective runs to gain momentum. Out of the break, it was Siena who struck first. Using a pair of goals by McQuillan and attacker Allie Primo, the Saints took control of the game. Getting the action started, the duo went back-to-back to tie the game at 8-all with 25:02 remaining in the contest.

Manhattan senior midfielder Tara Convery stopped the run by giving the Jaspers back a 9-8 advantage at the 24:29 mark but Siena rolled off three straight tallies by McQuillan, Casey Harkins and Primo to take an 11-9 lead with 6:16 remaining.

Sensing the game slipping away, the Lady Jaspers mounted what would be the game-winning rally. Gutenberger sparked the comeback, netting two consecutive goals on a free-position shot and an unassisted tally to deadlock the score at 11-alll with 3:30 left.

After failed scoring attempts by both teams, Manhattan held position for the final minute of the contest. After cycling for several seconds, Gutenberger created space and set up VanOverbeke in front of the net for the go-ahead goal with 18 seconds remaining.

One of the top highlights of the 2011 campaign, the game-winning tally caused an eruption of excitement on and off the field from Jasper players and fans alike not soon to be forgotten.

In the cage, sophomore Julia DiBernardo made 11 crucial saves in recording the victory while counterpart Kristin Concordia recorded eight saves in a hard-fought effort.

Overall, Manhattan held advantages in shots (31-25), ground balls (21-19) and draw controls (16-9), while both teams scored four free-position opportunities.

The Lady Jaspers return to the field Tuesday, when they head to Lewisburg, Pa. for a 4 p.m. non-conference showdown with Bucknell.

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