March 2, 2013

Behind O'Connor's Five, Wagner Douses Siena

from press release

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Senior attacker #Annie O'Connor# (Syracuse, NY/ Westhill) matched her career high with five goals to offset a five-goal outing from Siena's Sarah Croutier and carry Wagner past Siena 12-9 in closely-contested game at chilly Hameline Field.

The victory improves the Seahawks' record to 3-1, marking the program's best four-game start to a season since 2001 when the Green & White went 4-0 en route to a 6-0 start. With the loss, Saints fall to 1-3 on the season.

Freshman midfielder Casey McCarthy (Cypress, TX Cy-Fair) hat a trick for the Seahawks while sophomore midfielder Jessica Mills (Vernon Township, NJ/ Vernon) and her former high school teammate, freshman midfielder Stephanie Peterson (Vernon Township, NJ/ Vernon) supplied two goals apiece. Mills was the ultimate playmaker on this day, recording a career-high four assists as her six points on the afternoon tied O'Connor for game-high honors. Also coming up with assists for Wagner were junior Katy Bender (Cherry Hill, NJ/ Cherry Hill West) and freshman midfielder Tyler Pastore (Baldwinsville, NY/ C.W. Baker).

After seven minutes of play, Siena was on top 3-2 following a free position shot from Katie McGuire. This would prove to be Siena's last lead of the game as the Seahawks uncorked five goals over a nine-minute span to seize control of the game at 7-3. Mills tied the game at 3-3 off a Pastore assist with 22:47 to go in the first half to tie the game at 3-3. McCarthy then unleashed a pair of goals, the first off of a Mills assist and the second on a free position shot that made it 5-3 at the 19:21 mark.

O'Connor, whose first goal of the game at 25:21 made it a 2-2 tie, then tallied a pair of unanswered goals, both coming off of feeds from Mills, which stretched the lead to 7-3 at the 13:04 mark. Croutier, who had already notched two goals in the game's opening four minutes, then got two quick ones back for the Saints, connecting on unassisted tallies at 9:42 and 8:03 to make it a 7-5 game.

An unassisted goal by O'Connor, her fourth of the half, again made it a three-goal game at 8-5 with 7:12 left in the half. That's the way things stood until Lauren Smith found the back of the net at 1:44 to shave the Wagner lead to 8-6 at halftime.

McCarthy gave the Seahawks a bit of breathing room by converting a free position shot at 25:20 to put the Seahawks in front 9-6. Siena, however, made a game of it by answering with goals by Alyssa Treanor and Croutier, the latter coming at 20:28, making it a one-goal game at 9-8. With the momentum on Siena's side and the Saints on the verge of tying the game for the first time since the early going, Wagner came up with a huge goal as O'Connor found a cutting Peterson who buried the shot to give Wagner a 10-8 lead.

The feisty Saints kept coming, howeber, Shannon Pfohl sank a goal at 17:52 again make it a one-goal game,, this time at 10-9.

With Siena again on the cusp of tying the game, Wagner again found an answer, as O'Connor scored off a pretty feed by Mills at 14:55 to make it an 11-9 game. At this point, freshman Katie Ferraro (Owings Mill, MD/ McDonogh) was inserted into the game in place of starter Shannon Sweeney and came up with five saves while not allowing a goal. On the other end of the field, Wagner salted the game away on a fast-break goal with Bender throwing ahead to McGrath who did the rest, registering the game's final goal with 6:20 left as Wagner went on to the 12-9 victory.

Siena outshot Wagner 26-24 and led by a 16-12 count in ground balls while the Seahawks held a slim 12-11 edge in draw controls. Wagner was 3-of-4 on free-position shots while limiting Siena to 1-of-5 in this important category.

Sweeney recorded seven saves in the game's first 45:05 in notching her first win of the season between the pipes. For Siena, Danielle DeLisio came up with three saves in the first half before giving way to Ashley Holdridge who had five saves while playing the entire second half.

Wagner is next in action on Thursday, March 7 when the Seahawks host Howard in a 3:00 pm start at Hameline Field.

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