MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – Sophomore Tess Mraz (Fairfield) broke the seventh and final tie with 45 seconds left in overtime to lift the Eastern Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team to its first win of the year, a 9-8 non-conference victory over Salve Regina University Friday afternoon at Gaudet Stadium.
At right: Meg Eremita (far left) and Ashley Wolk (arms raised) celebrate the game-winning goal scored by Tess Mraz (24) with 45 seconds left in overtime in Friday's 9-8 victory over Salve Regina.
Eastern (1-4) couldn't preserve the only two-goal lead by either team when Salve Regina (2-3) scored twice in the final four minutes to force overtime. Eastern scored off the overtime draw when senior Ashley Wolk (Barrington, RI) won the draw and raced the length of the field to score her fourth goal of the year, but Salve tied the match for the final twice with 37 seconds left in the first three-minute overtime session on a free-position goal from Kaitlin Gillespie.
In the second three-time overtime session, freshman goalie Taylor Emmerson (Colchester) made two saves to preserve an 8-8 tie before Mraz recorded her first career game-winning goal on an assist from junior Meg Eremita (South Windsor) with 45 seconds left to snap Salve's two-game winning streak.
At left: Freshman goalie Taylor Emmerson makes the first of her 12 saves midway through the first half of Friday's 9-8 overtime win over Salve Regina. Also shown is freshman defender Devyne Doran (26).
Emmerson made 12 saves for her first career win, allowing only two goals on 12 free-position attempts in the game. The Seahawks were able to connect only one of nine free-position tries against Emmerson in regulation, missing all five of their free-position attempts in the second half.
After being outdrawn by 16 through the . Senior first four matches of the year, Eastern won 14 of 21draws in the contest Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) and Wolk combined to capture ten draws and teammed for five of the team's goals. Conn won six draws and scored three goals and Wolk won four draws, scored twice and added an assist.
After the teams combined for only three first-half goals, they struck for 11 in the second 30-minute half. The Warriors never trailed after moving into their first lead, 5-4 with 18 minutes left in regulation on freshman Paige Schneider's (East Lyme) fifth goal of the season.
With the score tied at 5-all, Eastern scored twice on Conn's team-leading tenth of the season and the first of the year by senior Mikaely Whitehouse (Columbia), but Eastern turned the ball over three times in the final four minutes of regulation and the hosts forced overtime with a man-down goal by team scoring leader Grace Kelly with 1:25 left.
The match was the first in a span of six days for Eastern, which faces Ramapo
College of New Jersey Monday at 11 a.m. and Worcester State University Wednesday at 10 a.m. in Hilton Head, SC.
Eastern Conn. 9, Salve Regina U. 8, ot
Eastern Conn. (1-4) 1 6 1 1 -- 9
Salve Regina (2-3) 2 5 1 0 -- 8
Goals: E, Erin Conn 3, Ashley Wolk 2, Tess Mraz 2, Mikaely Whitehouse, Paige Schneider; S, Sarah Woods 4, Grace Kelly 2, Karley Malenczak, Kaitlin Gillespie. Assists: E, Meg Eremita, Whitehouse, Wolk; S, Malenczak, Abigail Tepper, Gina Tortorici. Shots: E, 23; S, 28; Saves: E, Taylor Emmerson 12, Josephine O'Reilly 11.