March 20, 2014

TCNJ Rallies Past Gettysburg in OT

from Press Release

Junior Ava Fitzgerald (Merrick, NY/Calhoun) scored the only goal in overtime as The College of New Jersey women's lacrosse team edged rival Gettysburg College 11-10 on Thursday at Lions' Stadium.

The game featured two of the top programs in the country as they both entered the game ranked in the top-10 nationally and boasted undefeated records. When the final horn sounded, it was the seventh-ranked Lions that remained perfect at 5-0, while the fifth-ranked Bullets dropped to 4-1.

Close games are nothing new between the two schools as this was the ninth time in the series history the game has been decided by one goal.

Fitzgerald's goal came with 3:19 left in the six-minute overtime period on a free-position shot.

As per overtime rules in women's lacrosse, the horn sounded 19 seconds later as the teams switched ends of the field for the final three minutes. TCNJ won the en suing draw control and never relinquished possession to come away with the win.

TCNJ trailed by three goals with less than four minutes remaining, but fought their way back to tie things up and nearly win the game in regulation.

Senior Jen Garavente (Monroe Twp., NJ/Monroe Twp.) started the run with 3:41 left and Fitzgerald made it a 10-9 game with 1:10 left. Junior Erin Waller (Washington Twp., NJ/Washington Twp.) scored on a free-position with 34 seconds left to knot the game at 10-10.

TCNJ did have a chance to win the game as senior Lauren Pigott (Jobstown, NJ/Northern Burlington) had a free-position shot with three seconds left, but Bullet goalie Shannon Keeler (Moorestown, NJ/Moorestown) made the save sending the teams into overtime where Fitzgerald netted the deciding goal.

In the first half, the Lions scored the opening goal of the game when Pigott scored on a free-position shot 3:24 into the game.

The Bullets then scored four consecutive goals with Mandy Buell (Westminster, MD/Winters Mill) getting the first two, followed by single goals from Bridget Kenny (Gladstone, NJ/Bernards) and Kelsey Markiewicz (Taconic, CT/Berkshire School).

TCNJ made things much closer in the closing minutes of the period as junior Kendal Borup (Plainsboro, NJ/West Windsor-Plainsboro South) cashed in a pair of free-position attempts. The second of those goals cut the Gettysburg lead to 4-3 with 1:41 left before the half, but that score carried through the end of the period.

The second saw the Lions reclaim the lead at 6-5 as Borup capped a three-goal run.

The Bullets came right back with three straight goals of their own, with the final two coming 11 seconds apart. Abby Baigelman (Larchmont, NY/Mamaroneck) got that second of those goals that put the guests in front 8-6.

Gettysburg would then lead 10-7 before the Lions rallied and then secured the win in overtime.

Borup led all players with four goals, while Fitzgerald added a hat trick.

Markiewicz led Gettysburg with three.

Freshman Kelly Schlupp (Holland, PA/Council Rock South) won her fourth straight decision with five saves.

Keeler collected eight stops for the Bullets.

The Lions are back on the road this weekend heading to Neumann University on Saturday, March 22 for a noon start.

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