Sheehy scores winner in OT, women's lacrosse downs Owls

NEW HAVEN, Conn.Meaghan Sheehy scored with 51 seconds remaining in the first half of overtime to lift the Saint Anselm College women's lacrosse team to a 15-14 victory over Southern Connecticut State University in Northeast-10 Conference action on Saturday afternoon at Jess Dow Field.

Box Score

With time winding down, Sheehy cut in from the right and fired a low shot that beat Southern Connecticut (3-5, 1-4 NE10) goaltender Alexandra Takacs low for her lone goal of the game to give Saint Anselm (5-5, 3-3 NE10) the win. Just 34 seconds before Sheehy's winner, Takacs stood firm to deny Emma Palumbo from close range, but the Owls turned the ball over while attempting to clear and the Hawks took advantage.

The overtime game was the second in a row and program-record fourth in 10 games for Saint Anselm, which moved to 2-2 in overtime games this season. The victory kept the Hawks unbeaten all-time against the Owls, as Saint Anselm has won all 16 meetings in the series.

Erica Mattila scored a career-high six goals to lead the Saint Anselm attack while firing 10 of her 12 shots on goal. Rachel Henderson tallied four goals and one assist to match her career-high with five points. Breda Holland added two goals, while Sheehy, Palumbo and Marta Versprille each scored once.

Holland posted five draw controls for the Hawks, Palumbo recorded four and Mattila and Versprille each had three. Henderson and Lauren Lockard each caused two turnovers with Lockard forcing the decisive miscue by the Owls in overtime. Henderson's three ground balls led Saint Anselm.

In the first action of her collegiate career, Bailee Pudvar made three saves in 33:47 in net for the Hawks to earn the win in relief. Takacs took the loss for the Owls despite making 14 saves, including eight in the second half.

Nicole Healey scored on all eight of her shots in the game for Southern Connecticut and her eight goals were the second-most in program history for the Owls. Samantha Cozzolino pitched in with three goals and five draw controls, Kennedy Sherman added two goals and an assist and Taylor Portelinha contributed a goal and an assist for Southern Connecticut. Carolynn Keal led all players with seven ground balls and three caused turnovers in the game.

Saint Anselm claimed an early lead by scoring three of the game's first four goals over the opening eight-plus minutes. Southern Connecticut responded by scoring seven-straight goals, five by Healey, to take an 8-3 lead with 8:27 left in the opening half. The Hawks trimmed the Owls' lead down to three, 9-6, at the break, as Holland netted a pair of goals in the final 6:49, including one with just four seconds on the clock.

In the second half, the Hawks tied the score at 11-11 with 11:05 to play after scoring five of the first seven goals after the break. Henderson scored three times and set up another during the surge, but the Owls responded with back-to-back goals from Healey and Portelinha to get the lead back. With the Hawks down two inside the final six minutes, Mattila scored three-straight goals to put Saint Anselm on top for the first time in the second half with 3:56 remaining.

After Mattila's third goal in a row, Holland won the draw control and the Hawks worked the clock down under a minute before the Owls forced a turnover with 59 seconds on the clock. The hosts took advantage of the turnover on Healey's free-position shot with 32 seconds left in regulation, setting up Sheehy's heroics.

Saint Anselm outshot Southern Connecticut 37-25 in the game, including 21-9 in the second half and overtime. The Hawks also held an 18-13 advantage in draw controls, winning 11 of the final 15 after halftime. Saint Anselm committed a season-low 11 turnovers in the game, compared to 15 for Southern Connecticut.

The Hawks return to Grappone Stadium to face No. 3 Le Moyne on Tuesday, April 4 at 3:30 p.m.

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