March 7, 2013

Niagara Rallies Past Detroit in Overtime

from press release

DETROIT - Overtime goals from Danielle Maio and Maria Battista propelled the Niagara women's lacrosse team to its first win of the season, defeating Detroit Mercy, 9-7 on Thursday afternoon.

Battista led the team with a trio of goals, while Maio (2-0-2), Brittany Delano (2-0-2) and Carrie-Jo Farrugia (1-1-2) each pocketed a two-point afternoon for Niagara (1-5).  NU goaltender Paige Sasser wrapped up the contest with a season-high 16 saves for her first career-win.  

"Today's victory was a total team effort," head coach Wendy Stone said.  "We fought hard until the end, and never gave up. We learned from our past experiences, and played a complete 60 minutes today.  We will continue to work and will work to be better next time out."  

In a game where neither team held more than a two-goal advantage, the opening 30 minutes of play had the Purple Eagles and Titans (1-5) trade leads, but go into intermission deadlocked at 4-4.  

Niagara started off the scoring at 28:01 of the first frame off a goal from Battista on a free position shot that whipped by Titan goalie Lexie McCormick.  Detroit Mercy responded with the next two tallies scored by Britany Busch and Michaela Schwartz, but Delano evened the game at two apiece 13 seconds later.  

Titans would beat Sasser with two consecutive scores from Megan Callahan and Zaynib Hamze to put Detroit up 4-2 with 20 minutes remaining.  Maio and Delano sparked the Purple Eagles however, battling back from the two-goal deficit to knot the game at four as the clock ran out in the first half.  

The second half saw much of the same, as each team found the back of the net three times to remain tied at the end of 60 minutes.  About five minutes in Farrugia tallied the Purp's first goal of the half, but the Titans went on a 3-1 run to hold a slim 7-6 lead with a little over 18 minutes to play.  

The Purple Eagles continued to push, and their effort paid off as Fran Pollastro pulled through for NU with 1:03 remaining on the clock to send the game into extra time.  

Maio pushed the Purple Eagles ahead by one at the 3:30 mark of extra time, and Battista solidified the victory with her fourth goal of the season 20 seconds later, both tallies coming off free position shots.

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