May 17, 2014

Lock Haven Into D2 Finals With OT Win Over Lindenwood

from Press Release

SALEM, Va. – The No. 5 Lock Haven University lacrosse team has earned the right to play for the National Championship after downing No. 6 Lindenwood University 10-9 (OT) today in NCAA Division II Semifinal action.

The Lady Eagles (19-2) held off a furious second-half surge by Lindenwood (15-4) and rallied late in regulation to the tie game. Kelly Hamilton (Warrington, Pa./Central Bucks South) capped the comeback by scoring the game-winner with 1:49 left in overtime to give LHU its 17th straight win and propel Lock Haven into its second National Championship game in the last five seasons.

Down 9-8 late, Rachel Ward (Indianapolis/Bishop Chatard) scored with just 1:33 left in regulation to tie the game.

Following Ward's late game-tying goal, Lindenwood had a chance to win, but Chrissy Baffuto (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central) made a brilliant kick save with 16 seconds left in the game to preserve the tie. Baffuto was on hand to make another huge stop 2:10 into overtime.

Ward and Baffuto's late-game brilliance set the stage for Hamilton's fireworks in overtime.

Ward led all scorers with four goals, while Hamilton finished with the hat trick. Jessica Pandolf (Holbrook, NY./Sachem North) added two goals, which helped her tie the LHU all-time single season record with 78.

Shannon Bissnette (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford) added a goal and two assists.

Chelsea Borrino (Webster, N.Y./Webster Thomas) was a huge key for Lock Haven, as she dished out a game-high five assists, including four in the second half.

Jenna Dingler (Turnersville, N.J./Washington Township) added an assist.

Baffuto finished five saves, including four in the second half.

Lindenwood opened the scoring just 47 seconds into the contest on a goal from Melissa Menchella, but the Lady Eagles were even quicker to respond. Just 13 seconds later, Pandolf scored at the 29:00 minute mark to tie the game at 1-1.

Following Pandolf's goal, Lock Haven rattled off three more to take a 4-1 lead with 17:24 left in the opening half. Ward scored a pair of goals in that span to help spark LHU's attack.

Melissa Smith put Lindenwood back on the board, stopping Lock Haven's four-goal run. Smith's goal came with 15:27 left in the half, as LHU still led 4-2.

The Haven once again responded with back-to-back goals from Bissnette and Hamilton and led 6-2 with 3:49 left in the first.

The Lady Lions capped the first-half scoring on Menchella's second goal of the game. She converted a free-position attempt with just two seconds left in the half as the Lady Eagles took the 6-3 lead into the break.

Ward opened the second-half scoring with a goal less than four minutes in, putting Lock Haven up 7-3.

Jordyn Constance scored for LWU and made it 7-4, but again Lock Haven was once again quick to answer and Pandolf's second goal of the game put LHU up 8-4.

Lindenwood found new life however and with 17:50 left in the game the Lady Lions went on a five-goal run to take a 9-8 lead. LWU's go-ahead goal came with 6:18 left.

As Lindenwood looked to stall over the final six minutes of the game, Melinda Wojt (Telford, Pa./Souderton) grabbed a ground ball after a Lady Lion turnover to set up the game-tying strike.

Wojt and Kelly Close (Kennett Square, Pa./Unionville) both had three ground balls in the win, while Christina Hawkins (Havre de Grace, Md./Havre de Grace) added two caused turnovers sparking another tremendous defensive effort from The Haven.

Hamilton's game-winner came with 1:49 left in the six-minute overtime period. With seconds left in overtime, LHU forced another turnover giving the Lady Eagles the thrilling win.

Lock Haven will take on No. 1 and unbeaten Adelphi University tomorrow (Sunday, May 18) at 2 p.m. in the NCAA Division II Championship game.

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