Women’s Lax Captures 17-16 OT Thriller Against Merrimack

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Sophomore Marissa Daly (Marshfield, Mass.) scored eight goals, including the game winner just 2:00 into overtime, to lift the Saint Anselm College women's lacrosse team to a 17-16 victory against Merrimack College on Wednesday afternoon at Grappone Stadium.

The Hawks win their third straight to jump to 3-1 on the season, including 1-0 in Northeast-10 play, while the Warriors fall to 0-2, 0-2 NE-10.

Trailing 16-13 with just under seven minutes to play in regulation, Daly scored her only goal of the second half off a helper from freshman Caitlin Villareal (Portsmouth, R.I.) to cut the deficit to two. Sophomore Kelly Pickett (Chelmsford, Mass.) then beat Merrimack goalkeeper Sam Kiesel with a low shot that trimmed it to one with 3:09 left.

Pickett had a chance to tie it 40 seconds later, but her shot from in front was denied by Kiesel. Two huge turnovers – with sophomore Molly McGaffigan (Groton, Mass.) forcing the first one and then picking up a ground ball on the second one – gave the Hawks the ball with under a minute left. Sophomore Kaitlyn Stazinski (Pembroke, Mass.) was awarded a free-position shot with 30 seconds remaining and made good on it as she beat Kiesel with another low show that tied it at 16.

Sophomore goalkeeper Allee Ramzi (Cumberland, R.I.) – the reigning Northeast-10 Goalkeeper of the Week – came up with a monster save on a Jenn Pino free-position attempt with 12 seconds left that kept the game tied and sent it to overtime.

Just two minutes into the extra session, sophomore Sarah Doherty (Franklin, Mass.) sent a feed from behind the net that connected with Daly, who rifled the ball into the back of the net to make it 17-16. Ramzi would make another big stop just over a minute later as she thwarted Giulia Palombo's attempt to tie the game.

Merrimack retained possession of the ball, but Doherty came up with a forced turnover off a Pino free position and the Hawks would run out most of the clock until the Warriors regained possession with just seconds left.

Ramzi made eight saves for the Hawks, while Kiesel stopped five shots in the second half and overtime. Inna Hedden recorded seven saves in the opening half for Merrimack.

The Hawks owned a 33-24 advantage in shots, including 14-9 in the second stanza. Merrimack held a 20-16 edge in draw controls, including 3-0 in overtime, but turned it over 25 times – nine more than Saint Anselm. The Hawks were 6-for-10 on free-position chances, while the Warriors were 5-for-7.

Saint Anselm moved out to a 1-0 lead just 2:32 into the contest when Stazinski fed Daly from behind the net for a score. Stazinski then quickly tallied a goal of her own off a free position to increase the lead to a pair just 22 seconds later. Daly then potted two more – an unassisted score at 26:38 and a goal 15 seconds later that was assisted by Villareal – to bring the lead to 4-0 with just 4:37 gone off the game clock. The Hawks had also won all four draw controls in the contest to that point.

Merrimack finally found the back of the net 7:14 in on a Tyler Szymanski-from-Pino scoring combo, but Villareal would set up Daly again at 17:27 and then score a goal off her own off a pass from freshman Michelle Kudlate (Waltham, Mass.) to expand the lead to 6-1.

The Warriors stormed back, however, scoring five goals in a span of 2:04 – including a pair from Olivia Huie – to knot the game at six with 11:29 remaining in the opening half. After Daly stopped the bleeding with a free-position tally at 8:05, Pino scored her second of the game off a free-position attempt with 4:47 left to keep the game tied.

Daly potted another free-position goal 1:03 later, but Merrimack scored three unanswered goals over the final 2:52 of the half, including one as time expired, to take a 10-8 lead into the break.

Stazinski dished a helper to Villareal for a goal that opened the second-half scoring just 1:57 in. Pickett then buried a free-position shot before Kudlate found the back of the net off a Daly pass from the right endline that put the Hawks back on top, 11-10, just 5:05 in.

Merrimack would score six of the next eight goals, however, to open up the 16-13 lead with just over 10 minutes to go.

The Hawks return to action Saturday, March 16 at 11 a.m. as they play host to Queens (N.Y.) College at Grappone. Stay up-to-date with the latest news, including game previews and recaps, directly from the Saint Anselm College athletic department by liking us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/STAHawks) and following us on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/STAHawks).