NEW LONDON, Conn. (April 26, 2016) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy women's lacrosse team used a strong second half to erase a five-goal deficit and defeat arch-rival Coast Guard, 10-9, in overtime on the road Tuesday night. The win improves the Mariners' record to 7-5 overall, while the Bears fall to 2-14 in defeat.
Fresh off of being named ECAC Rookie of the Week on Tuesday, freshman Jessica Reilly (Sayville, N.Y.) netted the game-winner with just 45 seconds remaining in the extra frame when she swooped in from behind the left side of the cage and fired a shot past Coast Guard sophomore goalie Angel Fay. It was her second goal of the game.
Classmate Meredith Willard (Portland, Maine) led all players in the affair with five points – all goals – and Maura Malone (Yorktown, Va.) tallied USMMA's other three goals, while leading the squad with three groundballs. In goal, freshman Hannah Gizzi (Finskburg, Md.) made 11 saves to record her seventh win of the season.
Coast Guard came out strong with four goals in the first three-plus minutes of action before Malone scored off of a free position shot at 26:26 of the opening half. After the Bears tallied twice more to make it 6-1, Willard and Malone went back-to-back to bring the score to 6-3 at 21:09.
The scoring slowed down a bit, but the hosts took an 8-3 lead with two goals in the next 8.5 minutes before Willard closed out the scoring in the half with her second tally at 8:17. The Mariners had two more shots on goal in the remaining time, but Fay made the saves and the Bears took an 8-4 lead into the halftime break.
Malone, Willard and Reilly scored the first three goals of the second half in the opening 13 minutes to make it a one-goal game, but after eight scoreless minutes, Coast Guard found the back of the net at 8:33 to go ahead 9-7. Willard scored twice in the next two minutes to tie the score up at 9 and Gizzi made one save in the final six minutes, while Fay had two stops, including one on freshman Ellen Carpenter (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) with just 1:30 left in regulation.
Aside from the game-winner by Reilly, the only other shot in overtime was by Willard at 1:23, which hit the post. After a turnover by the Bears, Coast Guard freshman Carter Sanderson was given a yellow card with just 58 seconds left and Reilly cashed in on the opportunity to give the Mariners the come-from-behind victory.
Sophomore Cecelia Hosley recorded four goals to lead the Bears and senior Kaitlin Dickson scored three times and dished out one assist. Fay finished the game with eight saves in the losing effort.
Up next, the Mariners will host future Skyline Conference opponent Old Westbury on Thursday night, April 28, in their home-finale. Opening draw is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Lower Roosevelt Field. Prior to the contest, the USMMA women's lacrosse program will pay tribute to its two graduating seniors with a special Senior Day ceremony. Live stats and a live video feed of the game will be available by following those links.
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