Connors Helps Lift Worcester State To 14-13 OT Triumph Over Fitchburg State
Worcester, MA --- Freshman Jackie Connors (Ashland, MA) netted the game-winning goal with 1:03 remaining in overtime as she helped lead Worcester State to a 14-13 extra-session triumph over Fitchburg State in MASCAC women's lacrosse action this afternoon at Coughlin Field.
With the win, the Lancers (11-4, 4-2 MASCAC) have claimed the third seed in next week's MASCAC Tournament as they will host #6 Mass Maritime on Tuesday at 7 PM. The Falcons (5-11, 3-3 MASCAC) have earned the fourth-seed as they host #5 Salem State on Tuesday at 7 o'clock.
Connors had an all-around solid game with four goals and one assist to go with a game-best seven ground balls, five draws and a pair of forced miscues.
Defensively, Grassetti and O'Brien combined for eight ground balls while freshman Katelyn Murphy (Billerica, MA) picked up six.
Fitchburg State was propelled by senior Jessica Bartlett (Marlboro, MA) and sophomore Lindsey White (Hanover, MA) who both registered five markers apiece.
Senior Kayla Melville (Merrimac, MA) and junior Markie Apple (Pittsfield, MA) both paired to amass nine ground balls and fourth-year Kristin Dooley (Salem, MA) had a contest-best six draws.
Worcester State opened with the 3-1 advantage with the last tally coming from O'Brien on a man-up goal with 22:27 on the clock.
But the two squads went back and forth over the next 19 minutes of game play. The Lancers recorded six shots on goal, but freshman net minder Elizabeth Darrigo (Billerica, MA) was right there to stop five of them and keep the contest right where it was.
The effort enabled the Falcons to score two quick goals by Bartlett nearly 90 seconds apart for the 3-3 lead with 1:41 to go in the first period.
The Lancers, however, won their next two draws and netted markers on free position shots by sophomore Molly Kilday (Westford, MA) with 1:14 left and Connors with 16 ticks left for the 5-3 margin at the intermission.
White and Bartlett sparked the Green and Gold as they opened the second period with an 8-3 run for the 10-8 advantage with 9:07 left to play. In the spurt, White potted four while Bartlett sent in a trio of tallies.
With the two goal deficit in sight, Worcester State bore down and rattled off four unanswered goals to take a 12-11 lead with 5:07 remaining. Chase fed Connors the first goal before the Lancers used took advantage of three eight-meter scores by Powell, Chase and Grassetti.
Dooley's free-position goal with 3:02 left equalized the score and stood up as the final goal before time expired in regulation. The best chance for either team to score in the final two minutes was when Darrigo snatched a shot at point-blank range by O'Brien to set up the extra session.
In the first three minutes of overtime, the Lancers missed two shots at the net before Apple found White on a break-away to go ahead 13-12 with 1:04 on the clock.
The Falcons nearly made it a two-goal game with 0:02 left, but senior Alex Chisholm (N. Brookfield, MA came though in the clutch when she stonewalled junior Chelsea Roberts (Newburyport, MA).
Chisholm registered one more save in the second three-minute period before Connors knotted up the game at 13-13 at the 2:09 mark.
The Falcons won the ensuing draw, but failed to score as Chisholm came up with two tremendous stops off attempts by Apple in front of the net and another by White, near the right post.
That set the stage for Connors heroics as she netted the match-clinching marker on a free possession attempt.
Fitchburg State had one final chance to equalize the game, but the back line for the Lancers did an outstanding job running out the clock. Chisholm also made one final save off a desperation shot by Bartlett with 10 ticks remaining.
Chisholm finished with eight saves while Darrigo notched 10 for the Falcons.
The Lancers led in shots (32-22), ground balls (36-25) while Fitchburg State held the 18-13 margin in draws. Eight goals of their 14 goals came by way of the eight-meter for the hosts.
Powell, Chisholm along with fourth-year classmates Stacey Doherty (Westford, MA) and Rebecca Mullen (Peabody, MA) were all recognized in a brief pre-game ceremony on "Senior Day" for playing in their final regular-season home game.