March 12, 2009

No. 15 Amherst Needs 2OT to Tame Springfield

from staff reports

AMHERST, Mass. - The Amherst College women's lacrosse team's first win of 2009 came in dramatic fashion, as the Lord Jeffs earned a thrilling 10-9 double-overtime win over Springfield College. The Lord Jeffs overcame a four-goal deficit in the second half before senior quad-captain Amy Craig (Denver, CO) completed the comeback by scoring her sixth goal of the game in the first "sudden victory" period.

Amherst improves to 1-1 (0-1 NESCAC) on the season, while the Pride fall to 1-2 (0-0 NEWMAC). First-year goalkeeper Lamia Harik (Rye Brook, NY) made 10 saves to earn her first collegiate victory, while Springfield's Lauren McAulay made 14 saves in a stellar effort.

With the score tied at 9-9 after a six-minute overtime period, Amherst made the first push during "sudden victory" but was met by a big defensive stand by the Pride. Just as Springfield seemed to gain significant momentum, a costly false start penalty handed possession right back to the Jeffs. Craig took over from there and netted the game-winner, with sophomore Kelley Trapp (Monterey, CA) picking up the assist.

Craig has scored six goals in each of Amherst's two games this year. After all six of her scores came in the second half against Tufts this past Saturday, five of Craig's goals on Thursday came in the final four minutes of regulation or in overtime.

The scoring opened when Springfield points leader Jenn Zubkus netted an unassisted goal 3:02 into the first half, as the Pride scored on their first shot of the game. Amherst scored two goals in a span of 42 seconds to take the lead when senior Mary Noonan (West Roxbury, MA) assisted junior Christina Hopkins (Montclair, NJ) and Trapp assisted Craig.

Springfield pushed right back by scoring the next three goals in a span of 4:12. After senior Heather Dobson assisted sophomore Megan O'Brien, Kaeleigh Lannan and Erin Doolan each scored unassisted goals to give the Pride a 4-2 lead with 16:44 remaining in the opening half.

Trapp cut the Jeffs' deficit to one six minutes later with an unassisted goal. Craig attempted to tie things up at 4-4 when she was given a free position shot, but McAulay made the save to preserve the lead. Noonan would assist first-year Allie Horwitz (Woodbridge, CT) with 1:41 remaining in the half before Noonan attempted a free position shot with only six seconds left on the clock, but McAulay once again came up with a big save as the teams headed into halftime tied at four goals apiece.

Springfield scored four goals in the first 14:07 of the second half to jump out to an 8-4 lead. Doolan had two goals and Zubkus had two assists during the stretch, with Dobson and first-year Jackie Moscardelli accounting for the other two scores. During the Pride's 4-0 run, Craig was given another free position shot for Amhrest, but McAulay once again denied the Jeffs' leading scorer.

Trailing 8-4 with 15:53 remaining in regulation, Amherst head coach Chris Paradis called a timeout to regroup. The Pride continued to apply heavy pressure, however, and hit the crossbar twice in a span of 15 seconds with less than 12 minutes to play.

Noonan scored on a free position shot 20:29 into the half, but things looked glum when the Jeffs were held scoreless for the next five minutes and trailed 8-5 with only four minutes remaining in the second frame. Craig took over from there and scored the final three goals of regulation, including once with only 17.6 seconds to play. Sophomore Nicole Soucie nearly found the game-winner for Springfield when she fired a shot toward the net with five ticks left on the clock, but her attempt missed wide, sending the game into overtime with the teams notched at 8-8.

Junior Alexandra Bazzano scored an unassisted goal 38 seconds into the first overtime. She nearly had the ball knocked away when she stormed into the crease, but she kept her composure and snuck a shot just underneath the crossbar to give her team a 9-8 lead.

Craig had twice been denied by McAulay on free position attempts earlier in the game, but the Amherst star came through when it mattered most and delivered the game-tying goal on a free position shot 4:13 into overtime. Neither team would score again until Craig's game-winner in double overtime, resulting in one of the most thrilling games to ever be played on Gooding Field.

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