April 13, 2012

No. 10 UMass Survives Scare from Duquesne

from press release

PITTSBURGH - Jesse O'Donnell scored the game-tying goal with 97 seconds left in regulation and then hit the game-winning goal wih 2:16 left in the second half of overtime as the No. 10 UMass women's lacrosse team rallied to defeat Duquesne 10-8 on Friday afternoon at Rooney Field. The Minutewomen trailed 5-2 in the opening minutes of the second half and never led until the overtime period.

UMass improved to 4-0 in the Atlantic 10 and 13-1 overall, while the Dukes fall to 2-2 in league play and 9-5 overall. The Minutewomen will return to action on Sunday at McGuirk Stadium against St. Bonaventure at Noon. The game will serve as Senior Day for UMass which will also honor the 1982 NCAA National Championship Team at halftime.

Friday's win also assured UMass a spot in the Atlantic 10 Tournament as the Minutewomen seek to defend their championship title for the fourth consecutive year.

O'Donnell finished the day with a game-high five points on four goals and one assist. Six other Minutewomen posted a goal, while Katie Florence made nine saves in goal.

Duquesne was backstopped by Liz Walker who made a career-high 18 saves in the tough loss. Haley Marafioti, Caitlin Prince, and Meredith Dunn each posted two goals to lead the Dukes.

The first half started out slowly for both teams with each scoring a goal in the first 16 minutes of play. The Dukes used a three-goal run to take a 4-1 lead with 5:21 left in the first half. Amy Tiernan made it a two goal game, 4-2, with 2:57 remaining before halftime ending an 11 minute scoreless drought for the Minutewomen.

Dunn's second goal of the game just over a minute into the second half put Duquesne up 5-2 before UMass responded with a three-goal run of its own. O'Donnell scored her first of the game at the 23:55 mark followed by goals from Tanner Guarino and Katie Ferris tying the game at 5-5.

The Dukes took an 8-6lead with 9:13 left in regulation on goals from Marafioti and Prince. Cori Murray netted her 19th of the season with 2:17 to go setting up O'Donnell's game-tying tally 40 seconds later.

Dayna Defliese had a chance to win the game in regulation for UMass but her shot with 11 seconds to go was saved by Walker capping her 11-save effort in the second half.

In overtime, Florence made a critical save just before the first half came to a close as she stopped a free position shot be Prince. UMass won the ensuing draw control starting the second half of overtime. Following a called timeout, O'Donnell scored the game-winner with 2:16 left in the period. The Minutewomen again won the ensuing draw control as Ali Houlis scored an insurance goal putting UMass up 10-8 with 1:43 to go.

The Dukes were nearly able to comeback in the balance of overtime, but a free position shot by Cailin Colegrove rung off the post while a shot by Amanda Kidder was blocked with 55 seconds to go.

Statistically, UMass controlled most key categories outshooting the Dukes 33-to-22 and winning 15-of-21 draw controls. UMass also forced Duquesne into 18 turnovers while committing just 13. Walker's 18 saves proved the difference maker as the two first half goals she allowed were the fewest for UMass in a half this season.

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